Tesla has selected two finalists in the hunt for its newest factory location: the cities of Tulsa, Oklahoma and Austin, Texas, AP reports. This would be the fifth manufacturing facility for the electric carmaker, and it’ll be set up to build the new Cybertruck pickup and Model Y crossover.
This is obviously an incredibly enticing proposition for state and local governments, as a new Tesla factory has the potential to bring billions of dollars of economic activity to a region through construction, tax revenues, and thousands of jobs. Tesla’s main vehicle manufacturing facility in California has 10,000 employees, and its Nevada Gigafactory another 6,500. This new plant is reportedly going to be its largest yet.
Electrek first reported on Friday that Tesla had chosen Austin, but other accounts still hold that Oklahoma is in the mix. The talk of Texas might sound familiar to those who watched CEO Elon Musk’s public denouncements of local officials in California for wanting to keep the Fremont plant closed amid the area’s ongoing stay-at-home order earlier this week. Among other invectives, he threatened to move the entire plant to another state.
Electrek’s anonymous source also relayed that Musk wants the new plant built by the end of the year, or at least enough of it to start cranking out Model Ys. That’d be even faster than its impressive 10-month timeline in constructing the Shanghai plant—and that was before a global pandemic brought everything to a halt.
Either way, Tulsa or Austin would give Tesla a base of operations in the middle of the country and the ability to ship cars to the large East Coast markets that much quicker.