- Tesla's Austin, TX, Gigafactory is now open.
- The company has set ambitious goals for its newest major plant.
- It also lays the groundwork for the production of future Tesla models.
Tesla's new Gigafactory is now fully open. Tesla production at Giga Austin actually began before the end of 2021, but this week marks the facility's grand opening. Giga Austin will now serve as the automaker's largest production facility and its new corporate headquarters after CEO Elon Musk clashed with California officials and vowed to leave the state. However, the new factory is much more than a new HQ.
The facility sits on a plot of land that spans more than three square miles. The factory itself is nearly a mile long and covers nearly 1.7 million square feet in total. It is more than seven stories at its tallest point and cost the company over $1 billion to get the facility up and running. If Tesla's new plant/HQ this doesn't give credence to the idea that everything is bigger in Texas, little else will.
When combined with the recently opened Gigafactory in Berlin, two factories alone will nearly double Tesla's annual production capacity. Tesla expects a 50 percent increase over the next few years, so the extra capacity should mean that Tesla is able to keep up with demand for now.
Tesla will use massive casting presses to make the front and rear ends of the Model 3 and Model Y, a manufacturing technique it hopes will reduce costs and save time. It's expected that the cars built at Giga Austin will include Tesla's new 4680 battery cells. Eventually, lower cost versions of the Model Y also will be built there to help fend off the likes of Kia, Ford, Hyundai, and Volkswagen — all of which are gaining ground in the segment the Model Y used to dominate.
It's also likely that the Cybertruck and Tesla Semi will be built at Giga Austin, should they ever make production. Musk recently confirmed the two EVs were delayed to next year at the earliest, partly because of parts shortages.
The new Gigafactory in Austin — along with the recently opened manufacturing facility in Berlin — should help alleviate Tesla's current production constraints.