Even though Tesla only revealed plans for its new Gigafactory in February, CEO Elon Musk has announced that it will break ground on at least one of the two factories next month. Tesla has yet to announce which states will be home to the two new factories, which will produce electric vehicle lithium-ion batteries en masse, but it’s now being reported that California may join the existing list that includes Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas.
Tesla’s Gigafactory is expected to help Tesla drive down the costs of lithium-ion batteries by up to 30 percent and also produce 500,000 vehicles a year by 2020. The factory is estimated to cost at least $5 billion to construct and will employ up to 6,500 employees. Initially Tesla only planned to build one factory, but this month Elon Musk disclosed that company is going to build at least two, which will help make sure there aren’t any delays in the battery development.
Tesla hasn’t announced which states will be home to the new factories, but Nevada has been pegged as one of the leading states. Originally California was not part of the list, even though Tesla currently produces its vehicles in the state. Tesla originally left California off the list of states for the Gigafactory because it predicted that it would take too long to receive the necessary construction permits in the state, but California Gov. Jerry Brown is working to make it possible. Tesla has also reportedly purchased land in California, but it’s not known what it will be used for.
In other related news, Tesla has announced that production of the Model X crossover has been pushed back until the second quarter of 2015.