Aerial photo of Tesla Gigafactory Texas with Texas Problem Project graphic

After the highly anticipated Tesla Cybertruck electric vehicle had its release delayed to 2022, the company has seen another wrinkle arise in its manufacturing plans after Polk Mechanical Company, LLC filed a mechanics lien on Tesla’s Gigafactory Texas facility in Austin, Texas on September 10, 2021.

The facility is one of Tesla’s newest projects for the manufacturing of its all-electric vehicles, with multiple new models reportedly set to be constructed exclusively at the new factory.

The $239,740 claim is for industrial construction labor and materials furnished from April 16, 2021, to August 22, 2021. Polk Mechanical’s lien lists Dürr Industries as the prime contractor on the project.

A major contractor with a number of different industry focuses — particularly in automated industries such as Tesla’s manufacturing plants — Dürr notes that it has a significant capability for work “in the planning and implementation of vehicle production facilities” like the Tesla Gigafactory. Polk Mechanical has a similar background, pointing out its work in areas such as equipment setting, erection and relocation, and conveyor installation.

Recent months had seen other liens filed against the project as well, with claims filed by Clarkson Industrial Contractors Inc., H&E Equipment Services Inc., and Ferguson Enterprises LLC during August 2021.

These aren’t the only contractors who have been on-site, either, as prior reports noted that contractors WG Yates & Sons and Keystone Concrete were working a 24/7 construction schedule to make progress on the project — it’s worth watching to see if issues continue to develop with these other contractors.

Though the Gigafactory Texas project is nearing completion, it hasn’t quite gotten to the finish line yet. According to the company, its goal is to complete the factory by December 31, 2021.

The company is putting a lot of money into the project to ensure its progress, as well, making any issues especially frustrating: A recent report noted that Tesla will likely end up spending $1.06 billion on the project by the time of its completion.

As per Tesla Chief Financial Officer Zachary Kirkhorn, completion of the company’s new facilities has been held up by “the unknown unknowns, new factories, new vehicle designs, new technologies, new locations, [and] new teams,” adding that “there is quite an execution journey ahead of us.”

He noted that a major roadblock in the construction process has simply been “regulatory reasons” — adding that “because of the newness here, it’s extremely difficult for us to be precise in what the ramp will look like…it’s possible things — the stars align and things move quickly. It’s possible that we’re spending the bulk of next year working on ramping these factories.”

Kirkhorn maintained at the same time that maintaining a December 31, 2021, completion date “remains our target and all of our plans are oriented around that.” 

Though these types of issues may seem like small hiccups, those are the type of issues that have a history of holding back the completion of Tesla’s plans, meaning contractors may want to be wary of problems surrounding future work and resulting payments.

Tesla’s Gigafactory Berlin project was originally intended to open on July 1, 2021, but with 2022 fast approaching, the only known progress is rumors noting that the factory could get the greenlight to begin production “any day.” 

Even with these difficulties, Tesla is hoping to continue moving forward with additions to these and other projects, meaning more opportunities for contractors even with the risks involved.