(Bloomberg) -- A California mayor said Tesla Inc. broke ground on what it calls a new “Megafactory” in his city, praising the planned facility in a Facebook post that has since been deleted.
“We are proud to be the home of the Megafactory, Tesla’s most recent expansion here,” Lathrop Mayor Sonny Dhaliwal wrote in the post. “The future of green energy will be produced right here in our community.”
The plan is for a factory expansion to make Megapacks, the energy-storage product it sells to utilities. Lathrop, in San Joaquin County, has long been home to Tesla warehouses and logistical operations. Tesla’s flagship U.S. auto plant is in Fremont in neighboring Alameda County. The company is based in Palo Alto.
Tesla, which currently manufactures battery packs at a plant in Nevada, couldn’t be reached for comment and the mayor’s office couldn’t be reached to explain why the post is no longer viewable.
An expansion in Lathrop would be a good sign for California that the state is still a key part of Tesla’s footprint. After Musk moved to Texas in December and criticized California policies, there was concern that Tesla’s operations might leave the state. Tesla is building a brand new factory for production of the Model Y and Cybertruck in Austin.
While Tesla is known for its electric vehicles, it’s always been more than a car company: Its official mission is to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” Utility-scale batteries are needed to store the electricity produced by wind and solar. PG&E Corp. and Tesla have constructed a 182.5 megawatt system at an electric substation in Moss Landing, near Monterey, that should be operational later this year.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.