Exclusive: Tesla Has Yet to Request Permits for Its Gigafactory In Mexico

The country’s energy regulatory commission (CRE) has yet to receive the paperwork from the electric car maker for its planned facility in Nuevo León state

An excavator at work beside Tesla's Gigafactory in Gruenheide, Germany.
November 15, 2023 | 11:05 AM

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Mexico City — Billionaire Elon Musk’s electric vehicle maker Tesla has yet to apply for permits from Mexico’s Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) for its planned gigafactory in the state of Nuevo Leon, CRE commissioner Leticia Campos Aragon said in an interview with Bloomberg Línea.

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“So far I have not reviewed anything that has to do with Tesla,” she said, explaining that the president of the CRE is the official who proposes permit applications to the rest of the commissioners for review by the regulator’s governing body.

Tesla requested infrastructure for the vehicle factory in the municipality of Santa Catarina from the state government of Nuevo Leon, from an electrical substation, a power transmission line - an exclusive business of the Mexican government through state-owned utility CFE -, as well as a pipeline to receive natural gas, in October.

That same month, Musk stated that the gigafactory in Monterrey is not ready to go “full speed ahead” and that Tesla is “laying the groundwork” to start the first phase of the factory in early 2024.


On October 18, Samuel Garcia, then governor of Nuevo Leon, said that federal and local permits had already been granted to Tesla and that the government would start with the expansion of highway lanes in the area.

The CEO of the Federal Electricity Commission, Manuel Bartlett Díaz, said during a speech to Congress on November 14 that he is helping the government of Nuevo León with the permitting procedures required for Tesla’s plant in Mexico.

Bloomberg Línea consulted CFE, Tesla and the government of Nuevo León on the issue, but did not obtain a response.


CFE had previously disclosed to Bloomberg Línea that it was looking to provide Tesla with renewable energy from its Puerto Peñasco photovoltaic plant, the largest in Latin America. Starlink, another Musk company, won a contract with a CFE subsidiary to provide satellite Internet in rural areas of Mexico.

Tesla’s arrival in Mexico has been one of the most controversial investments of the year after the bidding between the state and federal government to direct the investment to the north or south of the country, a battle that was won by Nuevo León due to its proximity to the United States and the Tesla suppliers already installed in the state governed by Samuel García.

But the investment for the plant, estimated at between $5 billion and $10 billion, has yet to materialize in the midst of high expectations.

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