Four US states compete for Tesla’s battery “gigafactory” image

America’s investor sweetheart, electric automaker Tesla is rocking the automotive and energy industries with its plans to build one of the biggest battery factories in the world. After releasing additional details about the facility, Tesla also said the four US states that compete in the final for the location.

Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas will fight for the opportunity to be involved in the $4 to 5 billion projected investment, which would also see some 6,500 people employed there.

“The Gigafactory is designed to reduce cell costs much faster than the status quo and, by 2020, produce more lithium ion batteries annually than were produced worldwide in 2013,” the company declared in a blog post.

The factory should begin manufacturing in 2017, with Tesla contributing around $2 billion on the planned investment – and should output around 500,000 batteries when in full swing around 2020.

The four states were selected in part due to the company’s goal of using renewable energy resources, such as wind and solar, to power the plant up to 100%. The proposed battery factory, nicknamed the “gigafactory” should involve additional partners, like Panasonic – which currently supplies most of the cells for the company.

While today it only offers the Model S luxury sedan, priced from $70,000 up, Tesla wants to add the Model X crossover in 2015 and a lower cost model from 2017, when the battery plant would allow Tesla to reduce the cost of its batteries by around 30%. Eventually, the 500,000 batteries output should be matched to the same amount of cars – which is actually the full capacity of Tesla’s only car assembly facility, the old General Motors/Toyota plant in Fremont, California.