Tesla unveils cyberpunk Cybertruck factory in Austin
The Tesla Cybertruck took another critical tire roll towards reality this month as new images of the unashamedly futuristic factory were unveiled. Gigafactory Texas looks as cyberpunk as the Cybertruck itself, with its giant steel frames and massive concrete walls.
A drone flight early in September revealed the extent of the progress on the site. The Cybertruck will be manufactured alongside the Space X program at Tesla's first ground-up automobile plant. First off the assembly line will be the Model Y, followed by the incredible Cybertruck in 2022.
Futuristic and brutalist
The most recent flyovers reveal monolithic concrete slabs for walls and the roof that give Gigafactory Texas, Austin a brutalist look. If you want to get a foretaste of how the finished construction might look, try playing Cyberpunk 2077 with its angular, window free slabs of buildings.
But Tesla's Gigafactories are not conceived as traditional manufacturing plants, so it seems only fitting that the facilities should be brutally efficient. Gigafactory Texas has been constructed with remarkable speed and there are signs that work is already underway on the interior of the already erected parts of the building.
Tesla's existing car plant in California, the Fremont factory, was built by General Motors in 1962 and acquired by Tesla in 2010. As its first self-built factory, there's a lot riding on the Gigafactory in Austin. In fact, the work involved in retrofitting the space for electric vehicle construction persuaded Tesla to build their next facility from the ground up.
That's what happened at Gigafactory Nevada, where the company produces batteries and electric motors. But this is a much bigger project designed to produce not just the Cybertruck but the Tesla Semi and Model Y.
The entire project including Space X covers 987 acres and speculation is rife that the Tesla Roadster will be powered by a Space X rocket. 150 acres alone are devoted to the battery cathode plant which should reduce the strain on Tesla's supply chains, minimise their dependency on third-party suppliers and bring every facet of Cybertruck production in-house.
Tesla watchers are watching and waiting for the installation of the Giga presses used to create the Cybertruck frame. Concrete has already been poured for the foundations and Giga Press #3 is being installed. The paint shop area currently sports a roof and decking with flooring inside.
Just as the Fremont factory quickly became a production hub, so a number of well known Tesla suppliers are moving into the Austin area. Plastikon has leased a 100,000-square-foot facility in nearby Kyle, Texas from which to supply components. Simwon North America will also locate their auto body parts facility in the locale.
According to a local construction company, ElringKlinger will build a $17m plant in San Antonio to supply parts like the cockpit crossbeams it currently supplies to the Fremont factory. Saueressig Engineering will also build a facility in San Antonio and focus on battery supply. Steel Dynamics, rumoured to have won the contract to provide the Cybertruck's futuristic exoskeleton, is also completing a giant steel factory in Texas.
Despite the threat of Hurricane Nicholas, construction at Gigafactory Texas is making tremendous progress and the first new Tesla employees have been on-boarded. Elon Musk recently announced that the first Tesla Cybertrucks would roll off the line in 2022 and currently boasts over 1 million reservations.