Key areas of commerce for Tesla have been identified as possible sites for more factories. Musk said: “Obviously long term it’s going to make sense to have a Gigafactory in Europe, one in China and probably one in India.
“Ultimately, wherever there is a huge amount of demand for the end product, and where the shipping costs are to become significant, then the obvious way to optimise that is to put the Gigafactory on the same continent, or at least within reasonable logistics range of the end customer.”
The speech was broadcast on BBC Radio 5 Live.
Tesla’s first Gigafactory, in Nevada, USA, will produce more lithium-ion batteries than all of the world’s current factories combined, says Musk. Jaguar Land Rover's reported plans to produce batteries in a joint factory with BMW and Ford may put this claim at risk in the future, though.
The first Tesla Gigafactory officially opens on 29 July. Musk has praised Nevada's openness to “doing things quickly and getting things started,” before dubbing it “the get things done state”.
During the speech, Musk also highlighted three criteria which were kept in mind when designing the factory - cost effectiveness, time efficiency and readiness for a mass-market model. “The Gigafactory is vital for the future of Tesla in order to produce this affordable mass-market electric car which has been our goal from the beginning.”
A large chunk of Musk’s speech was devoted to explaining how the factory will be powered – a combination of wind, solar and geothermal energy will be used, which between them will cover the factory’s entire energy consumption.
The environment also took precedent when Musk was talking about the factory – a diamond shape was chosen for the factory because that shape required less movement of earth during construction than a conventional square. This reduced the factory’s impact on the environment and increased the efficiency of the construction process.
In addition to efficiency and sustainability measures, the Gigafactory has been designed to fit into its surroundings and break the stereotype of the eyesore factory. It’ll face true north, meaning that equipment can be mapped out by GPS, as well as ensuring the optimum position and direction for the roof-mounted solar panels.
The factory, which is already partially in use, will be open to visitors, Musk said, "because it’ll be worth seeing”. All of Tesla's vehicles will have parts made in the Gigafactory: primarily the upcoming Model 3, but also the current Model S and Model X, as well as the new models highlighted in Tesla's 'master plan, part two'.