Elon Musk says Tesla is scouting central U.S. for new factory

Rumors suggest Nashville, Tennessee

Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said on Twitter that he is scouting for locations in the central United States to build a new factory for the company's electric Cybertruck pickup and Model Y crossover. As anyone who has ever looked at a map of the U.S. can tell you, "central USA" is very much open to interpretation, but according to Tech Crunch, citing "a source familiar with the discussions," the automaker is negotiating with officials in Nashville, Tennessee, for the plant.

In an email to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), Musk hinted at some of the factors that go into the decision on where to build a plant. "Incentives play a role, but so do logistics costs, access to a large workforce with a wide range of talents, and quality of life," he said.

Tennessee is becoming a popular destination for EV production. Nissan currently builds the Leaf electric hatchback at its plant in Smyrna, and Volkswagen is in the midst of an $800 million expansion to its assembly plant in Chattanooga to build electric vehicles for the U.S. market.

Musk in January said that Tesla needed to increase its battery capacity to produce high-capacity models like the Cybertruck. He took to Twitter last month to ask users if the electric carmaker should build a new Gigafactory in Texas. Tesla started production of the Model Y crossover in January at its factory in Fremont, California, and planned to deliver the first vehicles by the end of March. Deliveries of the Cybertruck are currently slated to begin in 2021.

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