Plugging in

Tesla revs up for vehicle production at new billion-dollar Austin factory

Tesla revs up for vehicle production at new $1 billion Austin factory

Tesla Model Y
The Model Y should be rolling off the production line in Austin very soon. Courtesy of Tesla

The wait is nearly over. Within the next several days, Tesla reportedly will start production of electric vehicles at its new factory just east of Austin.

Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities who tracks Tesla, wrote in a January 8 research note that based on the firm’s analysis, “it appears paperwork is now clearing the way for Model Y production starting over the next 7-10 days.” Several media outlets have reported on Ives’ research note.

“Launching the Austin production in early January is very important to Tesla expanding both domestic and global production of Model Ys, which are set to have a massive year in 2022,” Ives writes.

In 2021, Tesla delivered 936,172 vehicles, up 87 percent from the previous year. The vast majority of those vehicles were the almost identical Model Y and Model 3.

Ives anticipates Musk will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Austin factory in the coming weeks. He notes that the plant “is becoming the centerpiece of Tesla’s broader supply ambitions, as well as its formal HQ buildout.”

Construction of the manufacturing plant, dubbed Gigafactory Texas, began in July 2020. Last month, Tesla officially relocated its headquarters from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Austin factory.

On December 16, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the $1.1 billion factory would represent a long-term investment of at least $10 billion, generating over 20,000 direct jobs and 100,000 indirect jobs. Musk previously said the plant would create 5,000 jobs and potentially 10,000 jobs.

The Austin factory is eventually supposed to manufacture three vehicles: the Model Y, a midsize SUV; the Cybertruck, a pickup truck; and the Semi, an 18-wheeler. Musk has said the Model Y should become “the bestselling vehicle of any kind globally.”

Tesla already makes vehicles at its plants in Fremont, California, and Shanghai, China. The automaker’s new factories in Austin and Berlin will enable it to essentially double production capacity, according to Barron’s.