Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirms 2021 opening for Travis County gigafactory

A screen shot of Elon Musk speaking into a microphone
Elon Musk confirmed a 2021 opening for Tesla's Texas gigafactory Oct. 21. (Courtesy Tesla)

Elon Musk confirmed a 2021 opening for Tesla's Texas gigafactory Oct. 21. (Courtesy Tesla)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said his company's Travis County gigafactory is on track to begin operations sometime in 2021 during the electric carmaker's third-quarter earnings call Oct. 21. This timeline confirms Tesla's initial projection the project could go online by the fourth quarter of 2021 when the factory was first announced in July.

Musk said on the earnings call that "Giga Texas," located east of Austin, is on a similar timeline as the also under-construction "Giga Berlin."

"For Berlin and Austin, we do expect to start delivering cars from those from those factories next year," he said. "Because of the exponential nature of the scaling up of a manufacturing plant, it will start off very slow at first, and the output will become very large."

Within 12-24 months of the factory beginning initial operations, it will operate at full capacity, he estimated.

"That is a very fast period of time, especially for new technology," Musk said.

Construction at Giga Texas began over the summer. Site plans for the project outline a 7.9 million-square-foot manufacturing facility occupying 280 acres on the 2,100-acre property owned by Tesla at the intersection of SH 130 and Harold Green Road in southeast Travis County.

Musk also teased developments with the Cybertruck, which will be produced at Giga Texas.

"We always want to make the car we deliver be better than the car we unveil, and that's the goal with the Cybertruck. There's a lot of small improvements compared to what was unveiled. I think it's going to be better than what we showed," he said. "If all goes well, we'll be able to do some Cybertruck deliveries toward the end of next year, but it's difficult to predict. I would say there's probably a lot of deliveries in [20]22 and some deliveries toward the end of next year if things go well."
By Olivia Aldridge
Olivia is the reporter for Community Impact's Central Austin edition. A graduate of Presbyterian College in upstate South Carolina, Olivia was a reporter and producer at South Carolina Public Radio before joining Community Impact in Austin.


Early voting opens Dec. 3 for runoff elections for Austin City Council and the Austin ISD board of trustees. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin runoff elections: Who is on the ballot, where to vote and when polls are open

Polls open at 7 a.m. Dec. 3 for early voting in the runoff election. Two Austin City Council positions and two Austin ISD board seats are open.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Dec. 2 that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has allotted 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to the state of Texas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
First allotment of COVID-19 vaccinations expected to arrive in Texas in mid-December

About 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been allotted to the state of Texas and will arrive the week of Dec. 14.

Frontyard Brewing opened Nov. 14 in Spicewood. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
New brewery opens in Spicewood and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community updates from Central Texas.

The proposal from Aspen Heights Partners would place two towers—one residential and one office—on the downtown tract. (Courtesy Austin Economic Development Department)
Two towers, 590,000 square feet of housing and office space on table for former HealthSouth property in downtown Austin

The 1.7-acre downtown tract is among the most valuable undeveloped areas in the city's portfolio.

Traffic moves along the upper decks of I-35 near downtown Austin on Dec. 1. The Texas Department of Transportation is seeking public feedback on a $4.9 billion project to improve the 8-mile stretch of I-35 through downtown. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
TxDOT is spending billions to fix I-35 through downtown Austin, but some community members say the state is wrong in its approach

A report from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute released Dec. 1 said the 8-mile stretch of I-35 from Hwy. 290 to SH 71 is the most congested roadway in the state.

Pravo Construction opened a new headquarters at Two Barton Skyway, 1601 MoPac, Austin, on Nov. 1. (Courtesy CBRE)
Now open in Austin: New coffee shop, offices and medical clinics arrive south of river

New businesses operating in Austin include MilkRun, which delivers dairy, meat, produce and other products from local farmers to customers at home.

Graphic of a coronavirus unit
COVID-19 rates after Thanksgiving have yet to climb, but experts say spike could still be coming

As Austin awaits a vaccine whose first doses could arrive by the end of 2020, health officials say the impact of Thanksgiving gatherings on the spread of the virus could take time to show up.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has launched a campaign to address declining college enrollment numbers across the state since the pandemic started. (Courtesy Pexels)
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board launches campaign to boost college enrollment

The decline in college enrollment across the state of Texas has prompted several agencies to partner up and create online resources for students and counselors.

Photo of a hand dropping a ballot in a box
Candidates for Austin City Council District 10 face off ahead of Dec. 15 runoff

Incumbent Alison Alter and challenger Jennifer Virden are vying for the seat.

Austin City Hall (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Public safety, homelessness in Austin take center stage in final forum before District 6 runoff vote

Three days ahead of the first day of early voting for the Austin City Council District 6 runoff election, a final public debate was mostly focused on issues of public safety.

Campuses in Austin ISD will be closes to in-person learning the week after Thanksgiving break. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
All Austin ISD classes to be held online through Dec. 4

The district will also be providing free COVID-19 tests to staff and families Dec. 2-4.