New Texas Tesla Factory Used to Build Cybertruck Partners With Austin University

Tesla's expansion into Austin has been praised by the city's only historically Black college and university, Huston-Tillotson.

Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of the electric car company, confirmed in an earnings call this week the next gigafactory plant would be built close to the state capital and used to make at least two much-anticipated vehicles, the Cybertruck and Semi.

In a message welcoming the move, Huston-Tillotson said it would be partnering with the firm to help provide employment opportunities and careers for its students.

A spokesperson revealed a university leadership team had met with officials from Tesla, with the conversation leading to "actual strategies," including faculty collaborations and undergraduate research. It did not share an exact timescale for the roll-out.

"HT appreciated Tesla's sincerity, interest, and intentionality for forming sustainable partnerships with local institutions of learning to develop talent pipelines," it said.

"The employment opportunities created by Tesla will provide a direct career path with access to a full array of benefits that align with HT's Career Pathways Initiative, which is focused on preparing students for mid-to-high-skilled careers.

"We anticipate our collaboration with Tesla to lead to internships, apprenticeships, externships, and fruitful careers for HT students. Tesla is an organization that aligns with and supports Huston-Tillotson University's core values and mission."

In the Q2 2020 call with analysts Wednesday, Musk pleased investors by revealing the company was posting its fourth profitable quarter in a row, despite setbacks tied to the COVD-19 pandemic, including the temporary shutdown of its California plant.

Musk said he was "very excited" to announce an expansion into Texas, which comes after the firm opened a plant in Shanghai, China, that now produced Model 3 cars.

Speculation about a move to the Lone Star State has murmured since Musk's dispute with Alameda County officials over the re-opening of the Fremont plant.

"Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependent on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA," he tweeted on May 9.

Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependen on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2020

The situation, now resolved in California, has now taken a more positive and optimistic tone, with the Tesla boss hyping up the new gigafactory's size and location.

As Musk himself elaborated during the earnings call this week: "The location is five minutes from Austin National Airport and 15 minutes from downtown Austin.

"And it's about 2,000 acres, and we're going to make it a factory that is going to be stunning. It's right on the Colorado River, so there's actually going to be a boardwalk where there'll be a hiking and biking trail," he continued.

"It's going to basically be an ecological paradise, birds in the trees, butterfly, fish in the stream, and they will be open to the public as well. So not closed and only Tesla."

The CEO, who also spearheads rocketship venture SpaceX and tunnel-focused The Boring Company, appealed to any potential employees in the region.

"If anyone is interested in looking at a Giga Texas with engineering, production, whatever the case may be, please let us know," he said.

"We're...doing a major factory there, it's also where we'll be doing Cybertruck, the Tesla Semi. And we'll be doing Model 3 and Y for the eastern half of North America.

"We will continue to grow in California, but we expect California to do Model S and X for worldwide consumption and 3 and Y for the western half of North America."

Cybertruck
Visitors wearing face coverings view the Telsa Cybertruck at the recently reopened Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California, July 1, 2020. ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty