Tesla unveiled its Gigafactory in Austin, Texas, on Thursday, a critical step toward the company’s long-delayed goal of starting production of its electric Cybertruck. Tesla hosted a “Cyber Rodeo” to commemorate the launch, inviting 15,000 people to listen to live music, consume food, and pay tribute to Elon Musk and his firm.
Along with a new Cybertruck, Musk unveiled a new Roadster car, which will enter production next year, and teased a robotaxi that he described as “very futuristic,” but did not explain or reveal details.
It is the company’s fourth plant in the United States, following those in Fremont, California, Sparks, Nevada, and Buffalo, New York. Tesla also has a car assembly plant outside of Shanghai, China, and just launched its first European assembly plant outside Berlin, Germany. Tesla spent an estimated $5 million on property outside Austin and another $1.1 billion on the plant’s construction.
The milestone came less than two years after Musk announced that Austin would be the site of Tesla’s new Gigafactory and less than a year after the firm formally relocated its headquarters from California to Texas. Along with the new Gigafactory, Musk oversees a SpaceX plant near Brownsville, Texas, and he has apparently been staying at a friend’s multimillion-dollar lakefront property in Austin.