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Tesla CEO Musk stresses scaling up, teases dedicated robotaxi, Cybertruck update

In Texas, at the official opening of Tesla’s gigantic Austin factory, CEO Elon Musk had a clear message Thursday night: It’s going big.

“This year is all about scaling up, and next year there’s going to be a massive wave of new products,” summed Musk, who hit one boast point after another at Giga Texas.

As for next year, Musk promised the Cybertruck for 2023 production—door handles omitted—as well as Roadster and Semi. Further, he teased a “quite futuristic”-looking dedicated robotaxi, and the Tesla robot, Optimus, which he claimed “will obviate what an economy even means.”

Giga Texas opening – April 2022

Giga Texas is the largest factory building in the world, by volume, according to Musk, and “the most advanced car factory that Earth has ever seen”—one of many connections Musk loves making between Tesla and SpaceX, from a Tesla Roadster “Starman” stunt to rocket tech for the second-generation Roadster.

“You know a factory is so advanced if it feels like an alien dreadnought landed,” he said, likening the whole factory to an integrated circuit, a chip.

The Texas plant will make cells from raw materials, form them into a structural pack, mate that with cast front and rear body sections, and output a finished product.

“So it’s raw materials in one side, cars out the other side,” Musk said, adding that the strategy makes the vehicle lighter and improves crash performance.

Giga Texas opening  -  April 2022

Giga Texas opening – April 2022

Musk said that in the future, Giga Texas will be the highest-volume car factory in America and the biggest cell factory in the world. And with aims to get to 500,000 annual units of the Model Y before ramping up Cybertruck at the factory, he claimed that the Model Y line will be the highest-capacity output of one product from a single factory, anywhere in the world.

“California is great and we’re continuing to expand in California,” summed Musk, who in 2020 announced the move of its headquarters away from the state, which has made up 10% of its global sales in recent months. “But we ran out of room, and so we need a place where we can be really big, and there’s no place like Texas.”

Musk said that Tesla has delivered more than a million vehicles worldwide over the last twelve months. That places it as a little over 1% of the total vehicle output in the world.

Giga Texas opening  -  Elon Musk

Giga Texas opening – Elon Musk

“We want to get to 20%, as much as we can, to move the needle,” he said, returning to points we probably don’t hear Musk making often enough in the cycles of social media. “This is why scale matters. In order to make a real difference, a really big difference to sustainability, we have to make a lot of cars; we have to make a lot of stationary packs to transition the world to sustainable technology as quickly as possible.”

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