The news that Tesla is looking at not only one location but possibily 3 more locations for Gigafactories got a lot of countries, states, and regions quite excited this week. Some European countries had already launched efforts to attract Tesla after they announced last year that they would be looking for a location in Europe to build another massive factory to manufacture both batteries and vehicles.
Now that the number of plants went up, the US could apparently also get another Gigafactory.
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The first Gigafactory, known as ‘Gigafactory 1’ or ‘GF1’, is located in Nevada and it is only about 30% completed, but it’s already producing batteries.
After the acquisition of SolarCity, which had recently completed its own massive solar panel factory in Buffalo, Tesla decided to rename the plant ‘Gigafactory 2’.
In the shareholders letter published yesterday, the company announced a GF3, GF4, and possibly even a GF5 – all with locations to be announced later this year.
As previously announced, one is expected to be located in Europe and another is likely to be in Asia – something company officials have talked about in the past.
That would leave another “possible” factory without a clear location, but Musk now hints that it could become an additional Gigafactory in the US:
It sounds like “a tristate border” could be a possibility. If he was directly referencing West Virginia since it was the question, the tristate border of Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, could be in the running.
Based on the saga of the negotiations for the first Gigafactory location in 2013-2014 during which Tesla was able to make Nevada, Texas, and California compete against each other, it should be another interesting search that could yield Tesla some significant political power.
Like Musk said, a Gigafactory and its supporting supply chain need a very large workforce and it’s already proving true in Nevada, where Tesla already employs over 1,000 full-time employees and 2,500 construction workers. When it will be completed in 2020, Tesla expects to employ over 10,000 people at GF1.
A project of this scale can economically boost a region, which in turn could be willing to accommodate Tesla – like the state of Nevada did with long-term tax breaks.
Let us know where you think Tesla should build another Gigafactory in the US and why in the comment section below.