Tesla Motors, America’s investor sweetheart, has been revealing its plans for the world’s biggest Li-Ion battery factory, dubbed the “gigafactory” – located in the US and with four – or maybe even five states competing for the deal.
The four initial states selected in the run for the multi-billion dolar factory, that would bring around 6,500 new jobs and millions in dollar to the housing state are Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas – and lately officials from the home state of Tesla – California – have been fighting to get included.
However, according to site selection experts, the leaders of the race are a big contender and a smaller upstart – San Antonio in Texas and Reno in Nevada, The first could have the upper hand, as the state is big, the city is big and the officials have equally big pockets for financial incentives to flow Tesla’s way.
“A case can be made for both Arizona and New Mexico … and you have to give them credit,” said John Boyd, from site selection firm the Boyd Company. “But the two leading contenders are Reno and San Antonio.”
“I think it’s just a matter of Tesla saving time on the development process once it picks a site,” said Dennis Donovan, from Wadley Donovan Gutshaw Consulting. The concurrent development “is actually not that bad for those communities even if the company goes somewhere else because the site infrastructure will be valuable for other prospective tenants.”
Nevada and Texas have lower operating costs than competing states and both are right-to-work states – as Tesla has seen what the opposing states can bring when it comes to higher labor costs in its home state California, which is not a right-to-work state.