Tesla’s Gigafactory competition heats image

The California-based electric carmaker has jumped from startup status to being the provider of the biggest US economic development plan in recent years – the proposed $4 to $5 billion battery “gigafactory”.

Five states are under speculation to land the final placement of the facility that mulls the creation of 6,500 jobs, and an entirely green, self-supporting facility. Rumors grow by the day, with changes surfacing each day. Actually, Tesla last month even broke ground in Reno, Nevada – but said that the excavations are not a guarantee that it’s the final location.

“The wild card in this sweepstakes are the incentive packages being crafted behind closed doors,” said John Boyd of The Boyd Co., a New Jersey-based site-selection firm. “I think Reno is the front-runner, but Texas is very much in the hunt, and I’d put California third. But at this point, groundbreaking has not taken place in any of the other strong candidate sites like Tucson, San Antonio or Dallas.”

The competing states fight for the prize – even churning huge incentives – because manufacturing jobs are better paid than in the service sector, yielding higher revenue from taxes. Tesla on the other hand needs the massive facility to reach its plan of creating a generation three electric vehicle – the Model 3 sedan. The 2017-planned car should benefit from the lower price of battery packs produced by the “gigafactory” and reach the market with a price of $35,000.