Tesla’s next “Gigafactory” will be in the Berlin area, Elon Musk announced at an event in Germany on Tuesday evening. Techcrunch’s Kirsten Korosec reports that Musk made the comments during an on-stage conversation with Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess at the Golden Steering Wheel awards show.
The original Gigafactory was Tesla’s massive battery factory in Nevada.
Musk dubbed it a “Gigafactory” because it was designed to produce batteries with gigawatt-hours of storage capacity. Batteries are made in Nevada and then shipped to Tesla’s car factory in Fremont, California, for final assembly.
When Tesla built a car manufacturing facility in Shanghai, China, the company dubbed that “Gigafactory 3.” (Tesla’s beleaguered solar panel factory in Buffalo, NY, is Gigafactory 2.) Tesla took a more integrated approach in China, building batteries and cars in the same facility.
It’s a reasonable guess that Tesla will take the same integrated approach for its Berlin Gigafactory, which will likely be called Gigafactory 4. Musk said Tuesday that the new facility would be “near the new airport,” Korosec reports.
The effort has been a long time coming. “We are accelerating our European Gigafactory efforts and are hoping to finalize a location choice in the coming quarters,” Tesla wrote in its quarterly letter to shareholders in July.
It makes sense for Tesla to build a manufacturing facility in Europe. Tesla sells a lot of cars in Europe, and the logistics of shipping cars from California to Europe are complex.
Tesla is also planning to create an engineering and design center in Berlin, Musk added.
“Everyone knows that German engineering is outstanding, and that’s part of the reason we’re locating our Gigafactory Europe in Germany,” Musk said.
Tesla has almost completed construction of its Shanghai Gigafactory and is aiming to begin volume manufacturing there before the end of the year. The company says it’s waiting for regulatory officials from local officials there.