It came as quite the surprise when Tesla disclosed that they’re planning to announce two or even three more Gigafactories earlier this year. The announcement was supposed to be made official by the end of 2017, as they wrote in the quarterly letter. They, as well as many others, consider their Nevada Gigafactory, known as ‘Gigafactory 1’, to be the company’s biggest and definitely most important project. As mentioned, it came as quite a surprise that they would announce two or three more Gigafactories, but then they decided to shock everyone once again by saying that it’ll probably be four.
Elon Musk, the CEO of the company, has mentioned in his interview during the TED conference that “I will announce locations for between two and four Gigafactories later this year – probably four,” which is one more than it was believed to be possible for the company back in February.
Many were wondering about the locations of the factories, but the company is so secretive about this, that they didn’t even disclose which continents are going to host the new structures. When asked, Musk only mentioned that the company now “needs to address a global market”, so we’re just going to have to wait and see how this unveils.
Earlier, he hinted very discreetly that the USA might get another Gigafactory, which would be the third one if the ‘Gigafactory 2’ in Buffalo is counted. That one is in charge of making solar products. Musk has also mentioned that a tristate border is a possible choice for a factory location as well.
When it comes to simple expectations, it’s believed that the new locations could involve China, since Musk recently met with their Vice Premier, and there could be one placed in Europe, since several countries have made steps that they believe might attract Tesla’s attention, and bring thousands of jobs that the new Gigafactory may offer.
That’s what is known about the first three, but when it comes to the fourth one, anything is possible, since there are absolutely no expectations, nor even guesses that can be backed up by any clues or hints.
Musk has mentioned that the Gigafactories won’t only produce battery packs and battery cells like the one located in Nevada, but instead, everything and anything from cells to full, electric vehicles will be made there. Even the Nevada factory has started moving that way, and it’s officially known that Model 3 powertrain production has started in there.
Tesla’s announcement about the locations and more details about the new Gigafactories should arrive by the end of the year. Everyone’s curious about the changes that will come with the new projects, including whether or not Tesla’s partnership with Panasonic is going to continue, or will the company start battery cell manufacturing on their own. Will the Gigafactories have enough capacity to rival Gigafactory 1, since Tesla claims that it can make 100 GWh of battery cells at full capacity, as well as 150 GWh of battery packs? For most of those things, we’ll just have to wait and see what Musk has planned when he decides it’s the right time to share.