What does Tesla building ‘1st of its kind’ data centre mean?

Tesla could be branching into the data centre space after posting a new job posting for a Sr. Engineering Program Manager, Data Center last week

American multinational automotive and clean energy company Tesla has said it is working on ‘1st of its kind Data Centres’.

Although the news has not come from a more conventional source - and Tesla does not necessarily have a press department - a job posting for a ‘Sr. Engineering Program Manager, Data Centres’ in Austin, Texas on the brand’s careers hub last week said the successful applicant will “lead the end-to-end design and engineering of Tesla's 1st of its kind Data Centers and will be a key member of the factory engineering team”.

Is Tesla branching into the data centre industry?

Mystery still surrounds what Tesla means by building trailblazing facilities that are yet to be seen elsewhere, with blogs centred on the brand proposing that Tesla could be forming its own data centre business - but others have suggested that data centre capacity will support its internal workloads.

The news comes after Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO - as well as CEO and CTO of SpaceX, Owner, Chairman and CTO of X Corp among others - claimed Tesla would spend US$1 billion over the next 12 months on its Dojo supercomputer, which has a fully-custom designed cooling distribution unit. Back in 2021 Tesla revealed it had 10,000 GPUs across three high-performance computing clusters.

With the data centre business now boasting a market size of more than US$250bn, it however may not be surprising if Musk did venture into this space. Following his takeover of what was formerly known as Twitter in October 2022, 

Tesla also reportedly opened a data centre in Shanghai, China in 2021, although the exact location or who Tesla partnered with for the city remains unknown. It is thought the facility was opened as Chinese law requires foreign companies to partner with local firms, usually state-owned ones, on data centre operations in the country.

Reports just a few months ago also said that Tesla had taken over one of the old Twitter data centres leased from NTT Data in Sacramento, and that the brand is in talks with Prime Data Centers to use another facility, also in Sacramento, formerly used by Twitter.

But as the brand moves into full-self driving, artificial intelligence, and robotics, its data requirements are probably rising, which may be why Tesla is building its own centres. The data centres may also be needed to support its virtual power plant and energy storage businesses.

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