It’s been less than two weeks since Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the automaker would be building a new manufacturing facility outside of Austin, Texas. Now, a video shows that construction for the facility that will become home to a number of Tesla vehicles, including the Cybertruck, is already well underway.
Much like Tesla’s progress was observed by eager onlookers at its Gigafactory Shanghai, one particular YouTuber has been watching the site via drone and documenting everything he possibly could. We’re talking property boundaries, dirt fill routes taken by the tractor-trailers, and even noting day-to-day changes. While this might come off a bit obsessive, it certainly gives us a good idea of just how quickly the automaker is moving to make its next facility a reality.
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As you might imagine, the area is still a big pile of dirt, albeit a bit flatter and browner than it was only a few weeks ago. But within months, the area is poised to be bustling with scenery, greenery, and machinery-because for Tesla, this is more than just a manufacturing plant, it’s “an ecological paradise” disguised as a facility that assembles electric cars.
“Well, it’s high time that we built a second automotive plant in the U.S.,” said Musk during an interview with Automotive News. “Right now, actually 70% of all Tesla vehicles are made in Fremont in the San Francisco Bay area, which is a pretty expensive place to make cars. It’s sort of counter-intuitive, to say the least. But nonetheless, 70% of all Tesla vehicles worldwide are made in the Bay Area.”
Despite Tesla’s battle with Texas for direct-to-consumer sales, Musk says that the state is still the automaker’s second-largest market behind California. So, naturally, it made sense to locate the factory nearby. It’s not clear if the automaker will be selling the vehicles that it makes in Texas, however, given that Musk has gone on record to say that the new facility will be responsible for building cars for the eastern half of the U.S.
Regardless, Musk says that Tesla isn’t done with the plants in the U.S. The CEO mentioned during the same interview that Tesla will likely look to build a third Gigafactory somewhere in the Northeast (ignoring the already existing Gigfactory in Buffalo that manufacturers solar panels for Tesla’s solar branch), though, with two operational plants and two under construction, it won’t be anytime soon.
Fortunately, this particular bout of construction doesn’t seem to be as eventful as Tesla’s other installation, Gigfactory Berlin, which is also currently under construction. We haven’t seen any eco-activists or unearthed World War II-ear Allied bombs, so it’s pretty fair to say that things appear to be going smoothly so far.
Production of Tesla’s Cybertruck is slated to begin in 2021.