No state is as synonymous with the pickup truck as Texas, where most residents wouldn’t dream of driving anything else. After all, the Ford F-150 King Ranch is itself a nod to the real-life 825,000 acre plot of land near Kingsville, Texas, one of the more famous ranches in the U.S. But now, there’s a new pickup in town, and it’s one that’s already taken direct aim at the F-150 – the Tesla Cybertruck.
After mulling various options over the past several weeks, Tesla has announced that it has chosen Austin, Texas as the location for its newest and biggest Gigafactory. Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the decision on the automaker’s Q2 earnings call this week, and also said that construction of the 2,100 acre site, a mere five minutes from the Austin airport and along the Colorado River, began over the weekend.
This giant factory will produce not only the forthcoming 2021 Cybertruck, but also the Model 3, Model Y, and Tesla’s new semi truck. Interestingly enough, Musk also said that the site will be open to the public, and will be an “ecological paradise,” complete with a boardwalk and a biking and hiking trail. Tesla is spending $1.1 billion on the factory, which will employ 5,000 people and pay a minimum wage of $15 per hour.
The new Austin facility will join existing Tesla plants in Fremont, California and Shanghai, China, as well as another currently under construction in Germany.
The Cybertruck is scheduled to enter production in late 2021, beating the Ford F-150 EV to market, which is expected to arrive by mid-2022. By then, the electric pickup market will be a crowded one, with the F-150 EV set to battle the Cybertruck, Nikola Badger, Rivian R1T, Lordstown Motors Endurance, and GMC Hummer EV SUT.