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Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he's "scouting" central U.S. locations for a factory that would build the upcoming Cybertruck, as well as the Model Y crossover for deliveries on the East Coast.

Why it matters: The announcements via Twitter Tuesday night add some clarity to expansion plans for the Silicon Valley electric automaker, which has recently found itself on better financial ground ahead of key product launches.

What we're hearing: A source familiar with the planning says one of the locations being considered for the new factory is Nashville, Tennessee.

  • “Incentives play a role, but so do logistics costs, access to a large workforce with a wide range of talents, and quality of life,” Musk told The Wall Street Journal in an email.
  • Tennessee is a hub of auto manufacturing, with GM, Nissan and Volkswagen — along with many auto suppliers — already operating in the state.

Where it stands: All-wheel-drive versions of the futuristic-looking Cybertruck are slated to begin production in 2021, while the less-expensive rear-wheel-drive model will follow a year later.

  • The Model Y, a small crossover utility, recently began production at Tesla's Fremont, California, factory. Tesla also recently opened a factory in China for the Model 3 and Model Y and is building a plant in Germany, too.
  • "Should Tesla build Model Ys in the new factory, the vehicle will be manufactured in four places — China, Germany and Fremont, California, are the others," CNBC notes.

Quick take: Tesla has likely learned a lot about manufacturing efficiency as it muscled through problems encountered in getting Model 3 up and running in Fremont. They won't make the same mistakes again.

Go deeper

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates

A teacher prepares a hallway barrier to help students maintain social distancing at John B. Wright Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona, on Aug. 14, 2020. Photo: Cheney Orr/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) filed a lawsuit Friday against the Biden administration for ordering the state to stop allocating federal COVID relief funds to schools that don't comply with public health recommendations such as masking, the Arizona Republic reports.

Why it matters: The Treasury Department said last week that the state would have to pay back the money if Ducey does not redesignate the $173 million programs to ensure they don't "undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19."

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.