California Campaigning Hard For Tesla’s Multibillion Dollar Battery “Gigafactory”
According to USA Today, the California state legislature is working on a bill to speed an approval process to persuade Tesla to come to the state; this follows an earlier measure designed to give Tesla property tax breaks.
Other states in the mix include Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas. KTVU in Concord, CA reports that one nagging problem for California is that one area where the gigafactory could be built is actually a Superfund site--the Concord Naval Weapons Station--that isn’t yet completely cleaned up.
In any case, Tesla told the outlet in a statement that “California along with four other states (Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada) is still in the running for the Tesla Giga Factory however I cannot specify or confirm specific locations we are considering.”
Landing the Tesla facility would be a big deal for any state. It will be a collaborative endeavor between Tesla and other companies including Panasonic, and it will cost $5 billion to construct and create some 6,500 jobs.
More importantly, Tesla is the vanguard of a new era in automotive technology. It’s electric cars, including the Model S sedan and upcoming Model X SUV and more affordable Model 3, seem to be gaining in popularity. The company has also now completed a coast-to-coast network of its Supercharger stations, and legal hurdles preventing sales in some states are looking more and more like pathetic ploys by frightening car dealers than a legitimate threat.
It’s entirely possible that Tesla will flame out, of course--nothing is guaranteed--but if it’s successful, and if it continues its promising work making battery technology for electric cars better and cheaper, it could become one of the more important companies in America in time.