As Tesla’s stock currently continues to rise along with its current market cap valuation approaching $800 billion, it’s safe the say the American EV automaker is doing okay. Tesla currently produces four electric vehicles at its various factory locations around the world. These Gigafactories also produce battery and solar technologies for the brand. With a semi-truck and Cybertruck already confirmed and on the horizon, and goals to produce a $25,000 model, Tesla is continuously growing.
If you’ve ever wondered where Tesla vehicles and their components are made, today is your lucky day. Below is a list of everything you need to know about Tesla’s factory locations and where they are. This includes the operational factories that already exist, those in construction, and even some speculation about where the automaker might be breaking ground next.
Current Tesla Factories
Tesla currently operates out of four full-operational facilities. Three are in the United States, and one is in China. Let’s start with the original factory and move forward chronologically from there, shall we?
Tesla’s Fremont factory location sits outside of San Francisco and is the OG of its EV production. It currently offers 5.3 million sq. ft. of space on 370 acres of land and houses over 10,000 Tesla employees. According to Tesla’s website:
Prior to Tesla, the facility was home to General Motors from 1962 to 1982, then GM and Toyota’s New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc (NUMMI) from 1984 until the partnership ended in 2009. Tesla purchased the facility in 2010 and extensively remodeled it before the first Model S rolled off the line in June 2012.
While Tesla has indeed expanded its factory location presence worldwide, the Fremont Factory remains the mothership. At this state of the art location, Tesla still builds the Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Model Y, along with a majority of each EV’s components. While the automaker does receive various parts from suppliers around the world, several of them have opened facilities nearby to be closer to the Tesla Factory location.
Tesla already has, and continues to expand, its global presence in manufacturing, but so far, these “Gigafactories” have been erected with more niche production objectives in mind. The name comes from the unit of measurement representing “billions.” Wonder if Tesla had this word in mind when it first went public? Let’s dig into Tesla’s current Giga factories and their locations.
Gigafactory 1 – Giga Nevada
Gigafactory 1, outside of Reno in Sparks, Nevada is the first of Tesla’s growing assemblage of production facilities. This Gigafactory produces electric motors and lithium-ion battery packs for the Model 3 sedan. It also manufactures Tesla’s energy storage products Powerwall and Powerpack of which it inherited from the Fremont Factory in 2015.
There have also been recent rumors about the automaker expanding its Tesla Semi manufacturing to Giga Nevada. This would likely still be in addition to Semi production at Tesla’s upcoming Austin, TX factory location.
What’s sort of funny about the 1.9 million sq. ft. Giga Nevada is that’s apparently only 30% complete. What’s better is that, as Tesla expands to other Gigafactories around the world, this “incomplete” original Giga has not really expanded at all yet.
Gigafactory 2 – Giga New York
Unlike the other factories on this list, Giga New York in Buffalo is focused on solar energy rather than EVs. This Gigafactory began construction in 2014 and was secured by Tesla through its acquisition of SolarCity in 2016. According to Tesla’s website:
In 2017, Tesla began production of solar cells and modules at Gigafactory 2 – a 1.2 million square-foot facility in Buffalo, New York. In 2019, Tesla added new production lines that will support electrical components for Supercharger and energy storage products.
Giga New York employed over 1,500 individuals before the COVID-19 pandemic struck and hopes to hire back many employees in 2021.
Gigafactory 3 – Giga Shanghai
Giga Shanghai is the newest Gigafactory that is currently operational, and the second factory to assemble actual Tesla vehicles. This 9.3 million sq. ft. Gigafactory currently hosts the final assembly of Tesla’s Model 3 and production of the Model Y.
Originally beginning construction in 2018, Giga Shanghai was already beginning initial production on the Model 3 sedan in the fall of 2019. Since then, the size of this Gigafactory has more than doubled to support the production of Tesla’s newest vehicle, the Model Y.
Tesla appears to be expanding its footprint even further in its China location. The automaker is looking to hire Chinese designers and implement a full design studio in the country to create Tesla vehicles specifically for China. That could include the aforementioned $25,000 Tesla.
Check back with Electrek often for the latest Tesla Gigafactory Shanghai news.
Upcoming Tesla Factories
The following two Gigafactories have not officially had a giant bottle of Tesla Tequila smashed on them yet, but they will be open soon. Tesla’s Giga Berlin and Giga Texas locations have both already broken ground and are being built as you read this. Here’s what we can expect from each of the two newest Gigas to join Tesla’s global block party.
Gigafactory 4 – Giga Berlin
After being announced in 2019 by CEO Elon Musk, construction began last summer in the municipality of Grünheide outside of central Berlin. Per Tesla’s website:
Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg will be the most advanced high-volume electric vehicle production plant in the world. Starting with Model Y production at launch, we will establish original vehicle design and engineering for worldwide markets out of Germany.
While the initial production of Giga Berlin will focus on the Model Y, the massive construction is being erected with the goal of taking on future Tesla vehicle production. The automaker has a goal of eventually reaching a 500,000 annual vehicle capacity from this Tesla factory location.
Tesla’s first brick and mortar production factory in Europe has seen tremendous progress so far and is expected to begin operations this coming July. That being said, Gigafactory 4 has had a slew of obstacles deter its construction in recent months. Here’s a recap to get you up to speed:
- Tesla had water shut off at Giga Berlin because they didn’t pay their bill
- Tesla may face delays at Gigafactory Berlin over lack of permits, Elon Musk gets involved
- Tesla and powerful German union prepare for a fight over Gigafactory Berlin workforce
- Tesla approved to keep clearing trees at Gigafactory Berlin, court says enough effort to capture snakes
- Tesla is again forced to stop construction at Gigafactory Berlin due to missing $100 million deposit
Gigafactory 5 – Giga Texas
Gigafactory 5 is the most recent of Tesla’s confirmed production facilities to be announced. In fact, Giga Texas, as it’s being called, was not even confirmed by Tesla as a factory location until this past July. Nevertheless, it is currently under construction in Austin, TX. Elon Musk has said that when Giga Texas is complete, it will become “an ecological paradise.”
What we know so far is that the construction site sits on nearly 2,500 acres, and Tesla chose Austin because it was looking for a location more than halfway toward the East Coast. The goal of Gigafactory 5 is to produce both the Model 3 and Model Y for easier distribution to the Eastern US.
Furthermore, Giga Texas is planned to be the main factory for both the highly anticipated Tesla Cybertruck and the Tesla Semi. Most recently, some of the larger buildings on the Giga Texas campus are starting to go up, and Tesla is already posting job opportunities.
With construction now moving at full steam, Tesla anticipates its first completion by May of this year with production beginning shortly after. Keep an eye on Electrek’s Giga Texas guide for the latest news.
Rumored Tesla Factories
First and foremost, the keyword in this section is “rumored,” so please take each of these in stride. Like most instances, we don’t know exactly what Elon Musk has planned next for Tesla until he Tweets it. Some of these options hold more water than others, but here are some potential factory locations for Tesla next.
After the quick success Giga Shanghai brought Tesla in both vehicle production and stock value, it was no wonder rumors began to quickly swell about a second location in China. When asked on Twitter if Tesla would be expanding factories in Asia outside of China, CEO Elon Musk confirmed:
While Musk has said the next location in Asia won’t be China, it’s still speculative where a Tesla Gigafactory may be best suited to start building. Here are two of the more logical choices if China is indeed off the table.
Option 1 – Giga Japan
Japan makes sense because, not only it is close to China, but it’s even closer to its battery manufacturer. Just recently, Tesla inked a new battery cell deal with Panasonic to keep up with the demand from its expansion goals. The filing of the deal with the SEC notes that the battery cells will be coming from Japan.
To that note, it would make sense logistically to have a Tesla factory location in Japan near Panasonic. Again this is only speculation, but it’s certainly not the least believable move.
Option 2 – South Korea
Much like the reasoning behind an expansion to Japan, South Korea fits because of its batteries. While Panasonic has been — and remains — an enormous battery cell supplier to Tesla, the automaker has expanded to other suppliers in Asia for cells at Giga Shanghai. One of which is LG Chem located in South Korea.
It would again make sense for Tesla to set up a new shop near a battery supplier, especially as Tesla flirts with the idea of investing in LG Chem itself. Furthermore, although Japan is also very close to Shanghai, South Korea is even closer.
After the aforementioned delays with Tesla’s Gigafactory Berlin, regional leaders in Northern England reached out to Tesla with hopes it would consider a Gigafactory in Teesside, U.K. Leaders said that Tesla would not face any of the obstacles or delays it is seeing in Germany, and construction could begin almost immediately.
Musk nor Tesla have publicly acknowledged any plans to expand to the U.K., especially with Giga Berlin so close. Since Tesla has already significantly expanded its Gigafactory in Shanghai and has acknowledged more expansion in Asia, another Gigafactory in China, Japan, or South Korea seems more plausible at this time.
While Tesla has previously flirted with the idea of moving into the Indian market, it has always just remained a vague possibility. That is until now. Speculation has begun to churn as Tesla recently incorporated a new Indian business unit.
Naturally, this move all but confirms that Tesla is considering some sort of manufacturing or research and development presence in India. Tesla has faced the prospect of high import fees into India in the past, which is likely a reason this dive into the South Asian market hasn’t come sooner. Tesla may now be considering manufacturing in India to alleviate import duties, although that has not been confirmed.
Electrek’s own Fred Lambert offered some interesting insight as to where a Giga India location might make sense:
Either way, there are now again talks that Tesla is looking to invest into building a factory in India.
The Karnataka government has reportedly already proposed a list of locations, including one in Tumkur, a major industrial city located in the southern part of Karnataka, to build a factory.
Tesla Factory Map
Below is a map showing where each current, soon-to-be, and rumored Tesla factory lie on the global map. This should offer a better lens to the global presence of Tesla so far and how it might look in a couple more years at its current pace of expansion. Keep in mind the rumored factories are not pinned in as specific of locations because… well, they don’t even exist yet.
Here is a link to the Tesla Gigafactory map to interact and explore further.
All in all, Tesla is continuing to expand its global footprint with hopes to provide affordable EVs, solar power, and cleaner energy to the world. What comes next for the automaker’s expansion still remains uncertain, but know that Electrek will always keep you up to date as these construction plans become more… concrete.
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Author: Scooter Doll