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California Tesla Sedan Factory: Where?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by green01, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. green01

    green01 S: P22 X: P118

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    Where in the Bay Area will the Tesla Sedan factory be built?

    Comments I've seen in the recent wave of articles include:

    "Elon says it will be located near one of the bridges"
    "The CA Sec of Labor said that a Hayward site was evaluated by Tesla and rejected"
    "An Enterprise Zone would offer better government benefits"
    "Two sites are currently under consideration"
    "It will be located as close to the engineering staff as possible."
    "It will be located where the 400 employees can afford to live".

    It seems to me, a location near a port is best: better access to parts
    and easier shipping of products to Asia/Europe. This is especially important
    if the small Mercedes contract becomes a big one.

    Are the two sites being considered public information?
     
  2. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    Welcome green01

    New game: Where's (Waldo) Whitestar?:biggrin:

    Something else to do with Google maps.
     
  3. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    #3 doug, Jul 2, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  4. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    "Tesla manufactures its battery pack and assembles its Roadster line in California"

    2 out of three facts aint bad..
     
  5. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    #6 doug, Aug 9, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2008
    A little while ago, during one of the TMC outages, I read or heard some news that the factory would be located in San Carlos. I figured that was just more reporter misunderstanding/misinformation.
     
  6. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    I saw this earlier and thought about posting it here, but then I realized it didn't have any more info about the Whitestar plant location than the previous article. I did like finding out that Ze'ev at least drives around in a Roadster.
     
  7. graham

    graham Active Member

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    #9 graham, Aug 13, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2008
    We have seen a few articles about San Jose as a possible manufacturing site for Tesla. Is this because SJ is the leading contender for such a site, or because it is the only city which has said something publicly? I wonder if Tesla is unhappy with San Jose for saying something while negotiations go on elsewhere?

    Yes, I have been wondering about that too. That Elon and Martin got early production numbers is well known. Where does Ze'ev fit in on the list? Has he ordered one of his own, or does he just plan to permanently drive around one of the company VPs. If he did get in line, does his place jump ahead of others, or will he be getting a 2009 model instead?
     
  8. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    #10 doug, Aug 15, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2008
    San Jose in talks with Tesla for electric-car plant - San Jose Mercury News

    I don't think Vacaville is still considered the Bay Area. Would take about 1.5 hours to get there with no traffic. It's conveniently close to Napa, though.:wink:

    The spot next to the San Jose Water Pollution Control Plant is a good location. Only about 30 minutes on the highway from San Carlos and only 20 minutes to the airport.
    The land in question is at the top-left of this picture:
    San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    1792906510_386221f4d8.jpg

    It might be kinda stinky there, though. I used to work at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, DC. The base was situated right next to Blue Plains Waste Treatment Plant, and boy did that place reek.
     
  9. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    So cars from the UK smell like cigarettes and the the ones from SF smell....different.
     
  10. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    #12 doug, Aug 20, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
    abc7news.com: San Jose authorizes Tesla negotiations on factory 8/19/08

    The three sentence article has this as its second:

    Is this a mistake or are they saying they will also do R&D at the factory.


    .
     
  11. chimpanzee

    chimpanzee Member

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    #13 chimpanzee, Aug 21, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2008
    Can someone explain to me why the mfr'ing of the battery packs was moved from Thailand to San Carlos? Is is the weak American dollar abroad, which lessens the advantage of "cheap" mfr costs in 3rd world countries like China/Mexico/Thailand/Phillipines? I know there was the issue of convenience, avoiding shipping costs from Thailand to San Carlos.

    I was always surprised that TM management decided on US based mfr'ing. It sounded more like Nationalism, than economics. Personally, I vote for China. I was just at SIGGRAPH 2008, & my ex grad-school UIUC/Coordinated Scinec Laboratory/AARG officemate (Dr. Homer Chen/NTU/National Taiwan Univ, same generation as Martin), made the comment that Dell was a "service company". People think of Dell as a hardware mfr'ing company, but in fact they just contract Taiwanese companies to build PCs to their specs. Similarly, could TM in the future be just a "service company", & contract out engineering services from mainland China & Taiwan? The AC Induction motor is made in Taiwan. BTW, another UIUC/CSL/AARG alumni is Bill Ho, whose dad was the head of the Technology Park in Taiwan. This is a contact which could be exploited, for any future "sweet deals" with Taiwanese contractors.

    [ by this time, you might get the impression that UIUC attracts a LOT of top talent. Martin included. Another alumni of our lab is S. Blostein (we had the same PhD advisor), whose dad was the director of Bell Northern Research..the Bell Labs of Canada. He is now EE prof at Queens Univ/Canada, aka "Harvard of the North". Some trivia: this is the university where Elon Musk met his wife ]


    I was recently in China (for the 8/1 solar eclipse). Man, was that an enlightening experience. There were cars (of every conceivable make..Nissan, Honda, Jeep, VW, Audi). There are lots of people getting wealthy, so this is a potential big market for TM.

    Get this, tons of electric bicycles & scooters! As I was driving to my hotel, after arriving in Beijing, I was met with a wave of silent bicycles..yep, electric power!! I mean, you just don't see that here in USA/Canada. There are some US & Canada companies importing Chinese made electric-hubs, & selling them to American hobbyists to electrify their bikes.

    I was out in Hami/China (NW China, near Mongolian border), & the local GIANT bicycle shop had a whole selection of GIANT electric bikes:

    7/29 Hami, shopping for camping supplies - a set on Flickr

    They are not found in mass quantities in USA (just a few), but highly regarded by knowledgable US e-centric buyers.


    I think TM should explore the China market pretty quick. Many US companies are over there, because of the business potential: the sheer mass quantity of consumers. Yeah, I ate at McDonalds & KFC over there (grudgingly).
     
  12. graham

    graham Active Member

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    You have the answers in your question. They have stated that the transportation costs and the lag time of holding up their inventory for so long on a ship from Thailand canceled the advantages of doing it there. The decline of the U.S. dollar helps but was not the main reason. They did not want their key inventory part tied up for months on a ship.
     
  13. chimpanzee

    chimpanzee Member

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    I'm reminded of what "Finkenbusch" (?, the TMC poster from Austria) said:

    "logistics, logistics, logistics is the key"

    I'm thinking there could be a Chinese mfr'ing factory, JUST for the Chinese market. I happened to buy a Dahon folding mountain bike at the GIANT dealership in Hami/China ($280, a beauty!). On it, it says "Chinese Domestic version" which has different components than the version sold in USA (called the "Jack").

    I think TM should investigate a partnership with a Chinese entity. There could be crossover engineering information transfer. I dabble in custom built PCs (aka PC *sugar*-box solutions), & practically all the mother board mfrs are Taiwan-based. I've heard glowing reports on the ability of Taiwanese engineers. Obviously, mainland China is learning fast & making a big move. I think it would behoove TM to find a Chinese partner to exploit the Chinese market. Not only would it give them HUGE revenue potential, it would give them some potential Technology Transfer benefits, in the long-run.

    My in-laws are wealthy entrepeneurs in Australia, Viet Nam, China. One of their Beijing hotels was being used to host some dignitaries at the Olympics. The guy in question (my aunt's husband) is a UIUC Mechanical Eng PhD. Obviously, he might have an interest in something entrepeneurial, that is automotive related.
     
  14. Sgee

    Sgee Member

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    Wow great article. Maybe sometime in the near future we ll here something because i am just dieing to hear some progress on the Whitestar...
     
  15. graham

    graham Active Member

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    #18 graham, Sep 16, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2008
    Tesla to build electric-car factory in San Jose

    http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_10481210


     
  16. graham

    graham Active Member

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    I wonder the San Jose announcement came today of all days to try and steal a little of the Volt's thunder, or at least ride on its press coattails...

    Or perhaps this is merely coincidental.
     

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