FILE PHOTO: Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks about new Autopilot features during a Tesla event in Palo Alto, California October 14, 2015. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach/File Photo
(Reuters) – Elon Musk, the billionaire chief executive officer of Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), went on Twitter to ask users if the electric carmaker should build a new gigafactory in Texas.
“Giga Texas?” Musk tweeted here giving two options – “hell yeah” and “nope.” The poll garnered over 102,000 responses as of 11:15 p.m. PT Tuesday, with about 80% voting in favor of the new gigafactory.
Tesla currently has two gigafactories in the U.S. and one in Shanghai, China. The carmaker in November announced plans to build its first European factory and design center near Berlin.
During an earnings conference call last week, Musk said that Tesla needs to increase its battery capacity to produce high-capacity models like Cybertruck.
“We’ve got to scale battery production to crazy levels that people cannot even fathom today. That’s the real problem,” he said.
Tesla shares have been on a tear recently, more than doubling the company’s market value since the start of the year as more investors bet on Musk’s vision. The stock, which closed up 14% on Tuesday at $887.06, has surged nearly 400% since early June.
The latest bump was partly fueled by a quarterly profit at Japanese battery maker Panasonic Corp’s (6752.T) battery business with the U.S. car maker.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Musk’s Texas gigafactory tweet.
Reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Hyunjoo Jin in Seoul; Editing by Bernard Orr