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Elon Musk confirms Austin Gigafactory will open in 2021
(Shutterstock)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed that the electric carmaker expects to open its $1.1 billion Austin Gigafactory next year and to start delivering its Model Y cars at the facility by the end of 2021 during a third-quarter earnings call on Wednesday.


"Because of the exponential nature of the fuel-up of a manufacturing plant, especially one with new technologies, it will start off very slow at first but then the output will become very large," Musk said, adding that it will likely take up to two years for the factory to reach full capacity. "That is a very fast period of time, especially for new technology."

The first substantial completion, or construction milestone, for the new factory is scheduled for next spring, a spokesperson for the Austin Chamber previously confirmed to Austonia.

During the call, Musk also talked about the company's plans to begin manufacturing its own battery cells, following an announcement during Tesla's Sept. 22 Battery Day event.

He did not discuss whether the Austin factory will be involved in this effort. But Tesla plans to operate a cell-manufacturing unit to produce the battery packs that power its cars at the Austin factory, according to filings with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The company currently sources its batteries from Panasonic, where cell shortages have led to production delays for Tesla.

Last quarter was the best in Tesla's history, with record-breaking revenue, net income and production volume, Musk told shareholders.

Musk announced Austin would be home to the next Gigafactory in late July, after a competitive selection process that saw Del Valle ISD and Travis County offer the company tax rebates for building the factory in their jurisdictions.

In early August, construction supplier Martin Marietta disclosed it had sold the 2,100 factory site—at the intersection of SH 130 and Harold Green Road, near the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport—to a Tesla entity for $97 million, according to the Austin Business Journal.

Prior to both announcements, however, the site was a hotbed of construction activity as Tesla began reclamation work, which a city staffer said "would be the first step in preparing the site for future development."

Since then, Tesla has purchased a 381-acre lot next to the Martin Marietta site and selected two general contractors for the project, although they remain unnamed, according to local reports. It also recently filed a site plan that lays out the company's plan for 280 acres of the 2,100-acre property.

As proposed, the factory will provide at least 5,000 jobs, not including the thousands of construction workers who will build the facility.

The company currently has 20 Austin-based job postings for the Gigafactory, in addition to other postings for jobs such as game developers.

Some of Musk's other ventures are also looking to lay down roots in the Austin area, including his "Fitbit in your skull" startup, Neuralink, which is hiring four positions locally.

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