Tesla is zooming ahead with its massive battery factory

Gigaom

Electric car maker Tesla (s TSLA) is racing toward building the world’s largest factory for lithium ion batteries. In the company’s earnings call on Wednesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla plans to break ground on the factory in a still undetermined location as early as next month.

In an unusual style, Tesla actually plans to break ground on at least two sites (maybe even three) in parallel until it ultimately chooses one. The list has been narrowed down to a handful of states in the southwest including Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas (that list also now includes California). Musk said Tesla would break ground on the second site a couple months after the first one.

Why such a big rush? Tesla needs the battery factory to be able to produce enough batteries for 500,000 electric cars by 2020, including for Tesla’s third-generation lower cost electric car…

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