Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk speaks at the opening party of the production of Tesla Giga Texas “Cyber ​​Rodeo” on April 7, 2022 in Austin, Texas.

Susan Cardeira | AFP | Getty Images

On Thursday night, Tesla CEO Elon Musk spoke at the grand opening of a new $ 1.1 billion electric vehicle plant near Austin Airport in Texas.

At the event, he talked about how massive the new factory is, and talked about products that are still under development, including Cybertruck and Robotaxi, which he promised would look pretty futuristic.

“It was not easy to build this huge building and get all this equipment here,” Musk said, wearing a big black cowboy hat, and thanked Tesla’s neighbors in Travis County as well as Tesla staff who helped build the plant.

“If you put the building aside, it will be taller than the Burj Khalifa,” Musk said, referring to the world’s tallest skyscraper in Dubai. He joked that Tesla estimated that the building could accommodate 194 billion hamsters.

Tesla aims to produce 500,000 units of Model Y in one year in Austin, the CEO said Thursday night. The company also hopes to begin production of its Cybertruck in Texas next year, Musk confirmed.

However, Tesla’s terms are often shifted. Tesla and other automakers are struggling with a shortage of chips and high commodity prices, which are exacerbated by Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine.

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“In the last twelve months, we have delivered more than a million cars worldwide,” Musk said. – There is still a long way to go.

According to research by AutoForecast Solutions, Tesla cars make up more than 75% of all all-electric cars sold in the United States, with all-electric vehicles accounting for about 4% of all new car sales in the country.

Musk also announced plans to expand his pilot driver assistance program to a wider user base.

“This year, we are looking to move to a broad beta for almost all customers with a full car in North America,” Musk said. The company does not manufacture autonomous cars, but sells a premium driver assistance package called Full Self-Driving. Owners who have the premium option can test new, unfinished features on public roads using the Tesla FSD Beta program. Currently, the program is limited to the choice of Tesla customers and employees.

On April 7, 2022, Tesla celebrated its Car and Battery Plant in Austin, Texas, with the Cyber ​​Rodeo event.

Tesla built its car assembly plant in Austin in about two years from scratch. Its first U.S. car plant in Fremont, California, was jointly owned by GM and Toyota before Tesla adapted it to create its Model S sedans and Model X SUVs, its first mass-produced cars and then the more affordable Model 3 and Model Y .

The Fremont plant is still operating today, but Tesla is looking to increase production of its Model Y electric vehicles and batteries in Austin, and to produce its unusual Cybertruck trapezoidal pickup truck in Texas for customers in North America.

Sam Fiorani, vice president of global vehicle forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions, told CNBC that the new plant is much needed.

With new products appearing on the road, they need more space for the plant, “he said. He believes the Tesla plant in Austin, as it was recently developed only to produce Tesla products, should help the company improve the quality of its cars. and reduce production costs.

“They’ve built about a couple of million cars so far, which means they had to figure out what works and what doesn’t. They have to be able to reinforce the positives,” Fiorani said.

Musk said Thursday night that Model Y cars made in Texas have a so-called “structural design,” meaning that elements of the car’s high-voltage batteries carry the car’s load.

Prior to the event in Texas, Tesla held a grand opening and launched commercial production at another new plant in Brandenburg, Germany.

The company’s plant in Shanghai, which began manufacturing cars in late 2019, was closed for several days in a row due to Covid’s healthcare restrictions in the region.

Earlier this week, Elon Musk raised the share price of Twitter after financial documents, and Twitter revealed that it took about 9% of the shares of the social media campaign activist and will take a seat there on the board.

Musk has created the Tesla brand on social media, especially Twitter, and at non-traditional marketing events such as Cyber ​​Radio. However, at a party on Thursday, he did not discuss his plans for Twitter.

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