We know Elon Musk is keen on firing up the next Gigafactory in Texas and this morning, we have our best indication of a more precise location.
Hidalgo County is located in the south of the state and is around 4,100 km2 in size. The County is home to close to 800,000 people and seems keen to attract Tesla’s business and jobs.
In Musk’s tweet on May 10th, he lists possible locations as Texas or Nevada. While Nevada borders California and would be an easier sell for employees to relocate, Tesla could really find manufacturing employees anywhere.
A key determiner in the decision will clearly be how accommodating a particular County can be, especially off the back of what’s turned into a nightmare with Alameda County over recent weeks.
By accommodating, that includes everything from streamlined planning permits for the construction of a new Gigafactory, as well as any tax relief for building and selling cars.
When it comes to selling cars, Texas is an interesting situation. Currently, Tesla can’t sell directly to customers online, like they do, basically everywhere else in the world. Any potential County would do well to help Tesla push the case to have state laws change from requiring auto makers to use the legacy dealership model.
In a letter to Elon Musk, County Judge Richard F. Cortez welcomes Tesla with open arms and promote the fact that SpaceX has a launch site nearby. He also highlights that they have already lifted their shelter at home mandate.
After reading through the comments on the associated Facebook post, it seems the residents of Hidalgo County are very positive about this proposal.
While we won’t know for sure until an official announcement is made, this really is our best indication so far that future Cybertrucks and lots of batteries could be made in Texas.
Tesla’s Freemont factory in California currently employs more than 10,000 employees and generates more than $5.5 billion in sales. With big plans for the future, that number would certainly increase and any County would be smart to grab that opportunity for ongoing tax revenue and jobs, particularly on the back of this pandemic that seen millions lose their jobs.
Another fun fact, on average, there are 227 sunny days per year in Hidalgo County. The US average is 205.
It is likely we’ll have to wait till battery investor day (should be announced shortly) before we get the official announcement of the next Gigafactory location.