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Tesla START's TSTC Waco Branch Sets The Stage for Giga Texas

by Claribelle Deveza February 05, 2020


Before Elon Musk every brought up the question of Giga Texas, the state was already recognized as an important location to set roots for Tesla. The EV tech company’s first sign of interest in Texas was hinted at when the Tesla START program launched at the Texas State Technical College (TSTC) in Waco. 

Tesla START is a program the EV automaker created to train future automotive technicians on how to service all-electric vehicles. As the EV market continues to grow, the need for auto technicians who know their way around an electric car increases as well. This is especially true for Tesla, which is at the forefront of the EV revolution. 

Tesla START is a 12-week capstonewhich specifically teaches students the skills and knowledge they need to become competent EV technicians. 

Areas of study in the program include the following:

  • HVAC
  • Brakes, chassis systems, and their components
  • Electrical/charging
  • HV powertrains
  • Driver-assist systems
  • Infotainment systems and their components


Credit: Tesla

More specifically, Tesla START student will learn more about the following topics: 

  • Regenerative braking
  • Inverter power transfer
  • Battery technologies and battery management systems
  • High-Voltage Bus & Charging
  • Pack Connector and Penthouse controls
  • Autonomous Technology.

TSTC Waco was not originally listed as one of the schools offering the Tesla START program. It was added much later to the list, which included: 

  • Rio Hondo College in Los Angeles, California
  • Evergreen Valley College in San Jose, California
  • Shoreline Community College in Seattle, Washington
  • Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Suffolk County Community College in Selden New York
  • Miami Dade College in Miami, Florida

Tesla’s late addition of TSTC to the START program reveals when the company started looking into the state. Perhaps this also gives a general idea of when Giga Texas started being considered seriously by the electric car maker. 


Credit: Tesla

Senior Vice President of Economic Development at the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce Kris Collins may have explained Tesla’s interest in Texas.

“Looking at domestic growth, Texas continues to be a leading state in both business and population growth, a trend that is projected to continue for decades to come. So it’s only natural that Tesla would look at Texas for continued new opportunities,” said Collins. 

Giga Texas could help Tesla ramp its battery capacity and car production while alleviating some of the pressure from its other US-based sites in Fremont and Nevada. A Gigafactory in Texas would also serve to strengthen Tesla's presence in the state even further. If this is the case, then Tesla START may simply be the first step the EV maker took to win Texas over. 




Featured Image Credit: Tesla

Claribelle Deveza
Claribelle Deveza

Longtime writer and news/book editor. Writing about Tesla allows me to contribute something good to the world, while doing something I love.

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