Tesla's Gigafactory Gains Environmental Approval
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Tesla's Gigafactory Gains Environmental Approval

Photo by:   Paul Steuber, Unsplash
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Karin Dilge By Karin Dilge | Journalist and Industry Analyst - Wed, 09/27/2023 - 05:05

Tesla has received environmental impact permits from the Ministry of the Environment of the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon to build its Gigafactory there. The permits state, however, that Tesla must meet certain conditions and now has 26 months to prepare the site and begin construction. Additional permits are still needed for this. If possible, the automaker aims to produce its first cars in Nuevo Leon in November 2025, although this could be slightly delayed. More recently, it was reported, with reference to Chinese suppliers, that Tesla's new factory in Mexico could start production in 2026 or 2027.

Among the conditions imposed by the Ministry of Environment is that Tesla cannot clear the entire area at once but must proceed in stages. According to a Mexican media report, only the areas necessary for the current construction phase can be prepared and leveled. Tesla is also authorized to use a specific explosive for this purpose, consisting of ammonium nitrate and conventional petroleum-derived fuel. Other conditions pertain to the protection of trees outside the construction area. Tesla must also ensure the preservation or replanting of at least 500 native tree species in the region. A "dust control plan" must also document and monitor the impact of the construction on air quality in the region.

The US electric car manufacturer announced the factory in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon in early March. Initial discussions mentioned investments of US$5 billion and shortly after, a production capacity of 1 million EVs per year.

Mexico's automotive industry is gearing up for a surge in EV production, with experts projecting growth of 179% by the end of the year, according to a recent report by American Industries Group.

The northeast of the country holds 41% of the component supply for EVs in Mexico, while the Bajio region contributes 40%, according to American Industries. Guanajuato, for example, is solidifying its position as the front-runner in Mexico's electromobility sector.

In August, Governor of Nuevo Leon Samuel Garcia traveled to India to bring investment to Nuevo Leon. During the visit, García announced the construction of another automotive gigafactory in the state by Indian multinational Tata Group, which will consolidate the state as a global electromobility hub. 

“Today, we are becoming a global hub for electromobility. We have surpassed all economic records, reaching (investment of) US$25 billion and now, we will add what we will bring back from India,” said García. 

Photo by:   Paul Steuber, Unsplash

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