In a letter to shareholders this week that provided a fourth quarter and full-year 2016 update, Tesla announced plants “to finalize locations for Gigafactories 3, 4, and possibly 5.”
The U.S. energy storage company and automaker began mass production in January of lithium-ion battery cells at its $5 billion Gigafactory 1 in Sparks, Nevada, of energy storage products that feature the same form-factor as the cells that will be used in its Model 3 electric vehicles, starting in July.
The company has designated its solar plant in Buffalo, New York – due to go online this year in partnership with Panasonic – as Gigafactory 2. The factory’s construction was started by SolarCity, which was purchased by Tesla last November in a $2.6 billion all-stock deal; and intentions are to manufacture roof tiles there.
Rumors are that one of the new factories may be in Europe, according to a report by Autoblog. Last November, the magazine said, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and CTO J.B. Straubel went to Germany to announce the acquisition of the group, Grohmann Engineering.
Following the announcement, Electrek said, they held a press conference during which Musk emphasized that Tesla is planning “significant investments” in Germany – including production investments.
However, the company is not ready to reveal its plans yet. “We have no current plans to build a battery factory in Germany,” a Tesla spokesperson wrote in an email to Autoblog. “We’re not in active discussions.”
The company has not said whether its newest plants will be as large (5.8 million square feet) or as costly as the first one.