Elon Musk reveals much about choosing Austin, Texas as the location for the next Tesla Gigafactory while talking to the Automotive News’ Daily Drive podcast (listen to all three parts below). He also revealed new information related to the Cybertruck in response to the questions asked by the host.
For example, he said that he and his team at Tesla did ‘zero’ customer research while designing the Cybertruck and the goal was to make a pickup truck that looks like a ‘futuristic battle tank’ out of a sci-fi movie like Blade Runner (will definitely come handy in the era of the apocalypse) — they have successfully achieved these goals IMO.
Choosing Austin, TX for the next Gigafactory location
Elon Musk went on explaining the reasons for choosing Austin, TX as the location for Tesla’s next U.S. Gigafactory — we have summarized the points as follows:
Tech & engineering talent
While the cities of Austin, Houston, and Tulsa, Oklahoma were actively vying to get Elon Musk’s attention to get the Tesla Gigafactory built at their desired location, the research of the HR team at Tesla explored that most of the tech and engineering talent at the Silicon Valley-based automaker was willing to move to Austin only — this became the first and most important reason to choose Austin.
The best engineering talent is not only required to produce the most advanced cars in the world at Tesla but according to Elon Musk, each Gigafactory is a product itself, each new factory must be better than the previous one.
In the same fashion, Giga Shanghai is technologically more advanced than Giga Nevada and now the Gigafactory Berlin is going to be the most advanced of all the existing Tesla Gifgafactories — for example, Giga Berlin will have the world’s most advanced paint shop, says Elon Musk.
Regulations and cost of production
Car production at the Tesla Fremont factory is still 70% of the automaker’s total production and according to Elon Musk, “Bay Area is a pretty expensive place to build cars” — on top of this, manufacturing regulations in California are far stricter and there are so many regulatory agencies compared to Texas.
Easy access to the East Coast
It was just last year that Tesla started shipping the Model 3 cars to Europe and the UK (Port of Zeebrugge) via the Port of Philadelphia (East Coast) instead of the Port of San Francisco (West Coast) — at the time when I broke this news with help from other Tesla enthusiasts, I also was able to calculate that this move by Tesla saves the automaker about 6,688 nautical miles of sea travel to Europe i.e. -70% reduction (see the following illustration of the map for a clear understanding).
Elon Musk in his latest interview with Automotive News expressed his desire for setting up a Tesla Gigafactory near the East Coast and Giga Austin is significantly closer to the east coast PhilaPort and also gives the car manufacturer easy access to the surrounding states, making local deliveries faster as well.
In response to the question, if Musk is still considering moving the Tesla HQ out of California, he responded:
That’s gonna require a lot more thought, obviously there’s no questions that our headquarters will remain in California in the short-term, long term, we’ll have to see, you know!Elon Musk via Automotive News
Tesla CEO Elon Musk made the following remarks about the Cybertruck in this podcast interview, some of them are very interesting, some just fine:
- Tesla did zero customer research for the Cybertruck, “we just made a car we thought was awesome, it looks super weird, I just wanted to make a futuristic battle tank, something that came out of Blade Runner or Aliens or something like that” said Elon Musk.
- The goal for the Tesla Cybtertruck was to be highly functional and have incredible capabilities as well, faster than a Porsche 911 (drag race video from the unveil below), and a better truck than a Ford F-150, “sort of kick-ass from the future, recognizing that this could be a complete failure” but by scoring several hundred thousand reservations, it turned out to be a success story
- Elon Musk wants to make this truck as a “North American ass-kicker” — something that you could use to tow a boat, a camping trailer, go off-roading without being worried about scratching the paint because there’s no paint (30x cold-rolled stainless steel that is dent and scratch-proof).
- The Cybertruck will have 110v and 240v power outlets to use tools out in the field or powering your utilities when camping out in the wild.
- It has an in-built air compressor that is used to lift the smart air suspension but can be used in a situation where the user needs an air compressor.
- Being bulletproof to a handgun, the Cybertruck will be very useful in a post-apocalyptic world.
In follow up comments of this podcast and an article from our friends at CleanTechnica, Elon Musk revealed it is highly likely that a smaller version of a Cybertruck will be made for the European region down the road, and endorsed the idea that the reduction would most likely be made in the width not the length of the vehicle.
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