Last year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk packed up his family, sold off his Californian properties, and moved to Texas. He also hinted at the possibility of moving Tesla out of the Golden State, which triggered off the rumor mill as to whether Tesla’s Fremont facility would actually shut down and move shop.
However, a recent filing is about to squash that speculation. Tesla Fremont is seeking permits to convert its Model 3 and Model Y assembly line that currently runs through an outdoor tent into a permanent structure. If the request is approved, it will expand the Californian production facility by 64,000 square feet. The new permit application seems to indicate the EV company is committed to keeping its operations in Fremont.
Even though Tesla’s Model X and Model S vehicles are also produced in California, Musk seem adamant during the most part of 2020 to move operations lock, stock, and barrel. His drive to relocate operations stemmed from the lockdown regulations imposed when the COVID-19 pandemic started. He took to Twitter and openly stated he was reopening the Fremont plant, challenging city officials to arrest him. Luckily, it didn’t get to that and Erica Pan, who was Alameda County’s public health officer at the time conceded and permitted Tesla operations to continue.
But a few months later, Musk echoed his threats of closing down Fremont when interviewed by Automotive News and later confirmed he was making a personal move to Texas. This came soon after Hewlett Packard and Oracle announced their headquarters were being relocated to the Lone Star State. A debate ensued whether California is adequately equipped as a business-friendly state or if Austin is the new go-to region where Silicon Valley could be recreated and where startups could have more success.
However, for Tesla Fremont, it seems the facility has not set plans to move.
In other news on the EV industry, AlixPartners is a consulting group that introduced a new index in 2017 for tracking vehicle electrification progress by automaker and by country.
The index includes the following vehicle types: battery-powered electric vehicles (BEV), fuel cell vehicles (FCEV) and plug-in hybrids (PHEV), and vehicles with hybrid drive (HEV) without a plug-in option are excluded.
It’s new report for Q4 in 2020 has been published with the following highlights:
This year, Tesla will be bringing its new Giga Texas and Giga Berlin online even though there have been a few setbacks with construction in Germany. But Tesla’s European sales also saw a 10% dip in 2020 with Volkswagen and Renault taking first and second place but VW’s sales are mostly plug-in hybrids. All-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids are officially classified as EVs but because plug-in vehicles have a combustion engine they are not considered to be as “clean”.
To compare sales in the last quarter of 2020, the Volkswagen group including Audi and Porsche sold 192,000 electric cars (and plug-ins) whereas Tesla sold 181,000 all-electric vehicles.
Demand for electric vehicles is increasing globally with new registrations doubling within a year and Europe in particular saw a surge in 2020 with its sales surpassing China.
“For years China was ahead in the sale of e-cars, but now the European continent is leading the ranking for the first time with a share of 1.4 million cars in 2020 and is 0.1 million above the Chinese figures. In addition, the number of e-cars sold worldwide per quarter doubled to over 1.3 million within one year. The share of e-cars in the global market as a whole rose from 2.7% (Q4 / 2019) to 5.8% ( Q4 / 2020). With a total of more than 386 million kilometers, the electric range is 104% higher.