Published on April 10th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro
With Gigafactory, Tesla Could Become More American Than Ford
Tesla’s proposed Gigafactory has four states vying for multi-billion dollar project, and it could also make the Tesla Model S America’s most American car. If the proposed Gigafactory ends up sourcing raw materials from the surrounding area, as Tesla is proposing, about 90% of the content of the Model S could end up being American made. How you gonna hate on that?
The window stick on the Tesla Model S claims the electric sedan has about 55% American/Canadian made content, enough to qualify it as a domestic car. This infographic labels some of Tesla’s outside suppliers, including Germany’s Bosch and Italy’s Brembo, as outside suppliers of parts. The biggest foriegn-made part, however, is the Tesla’s battery, which uses Panasonic laptop batteries that are “assembled” into larger battery packs at Tesla’s California factory.
The Gigafactory could boost the American-made content right up to 90% by building the batteries in their entirety in America. Right now Texas, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico are all courting Elon Musk in a bid to bring as many as a billion dollars and some 6,500 jobs to a state-of-the-art battery facility. Though Tesla’s battery partner Panasonic has remained skeptical of the plan, there’s a lot of public and private support for the idea.
With 90% American-made content, the Tesla Model S would beat even the Ford F-150, which counts just 75% of its parts as coming from domestic suppliers. Ford has been keen on moving production back to America, but with the switch to aluminum, the American-made content could swing either way. While the F-150 tops Cars.com American content list, and it’s been the best-selling vehicle in American for 32 years straight, an upstart electric sedanc ould unseat it.
If Tesla’s ambitions for building 500,000 batteries annually out of its Gigafactory every year come true, could we see a new best-selling vehicle in America?