California lawmakers adjourn without helping Tesla image

Californian lawmakers are set to postpone the idea of coming up with incentives to tempt Tesla Motors Inc. to build a $5 billion battery factory in the most populated U.S. state.

The lawmakers from Tesla’s home state prepared a bill to entice the auto brand with an incentive package, but as the legislative session was almost closed at the end of August, an agreement was not reached on what economic measures to include.

The electric-car maker is setting California, Nevada, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico against each other for the location of the factory and the 6,500 future jobs at stake. Elon Musk, Tesla’s co-founder, said he expects the winning state to provide about 10% of the cost, meaning around $500 million in incentives.

Mike Rossi, senior adviser to Governor Jerry Brown, stated that “the administration continues to engage in productive conversations with Tesla and remains optimistic that we can reach an agreement that meets our common goal of adding jobs in California.” Meanwhile, Liz Jarvis-Shean, a spokeswoman for Tesla, declined to comment on the subject.

Based in Palo Alto, Tesla claimed it needs the gigafactory to be operating by 2017 as to supply lower-cost lithium-ion batteries for its vehicles and for home-power storage devices. California has lately lost a number of manufacturing jobs to states with lower taxes and less regulation and is in real need of a win.

By Gabriela Florea