And they're off! Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas are all in the running for Tesla Motors' gigafactory, USA Today says. And the politicians are already talking big, which is the operative word for a factory that could cost $5 billion, require 1,000 acres, take up 10 million square feet and support 6,500 jobs. Oh, and build battery packs for a half-million EVs a year.
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez earlier this week said the state was considering a special legislative session to work up an economic package for a possible Tesla factory. The governor is playing up how the state recently cut corporate tax rates and says New Mexico's in talks with the electric-vehicle maker, though she's hush-hush about the details, the Albuquerque Journal says.
Meanwhile, Arizona this week proposed a bill that would allow Tesla (which has a showroom in Scottsdale) to sell its vehicles in the state without a third-party dealership network. There are politicians claiming such a law wouldn't be a carrot of sorts to lure the company's new battery plant, according to AZ Central, to which we say "yeah, sure." The bill, which would need Arizona Senate approval, would put the state diametrically opposite Texas, which has been the most steadfast about retaining the age-old third-party dealer system that Tesla's been trying to subvert. Taking it one step further, Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild said the city has identified a suitable site and is willing to pony up tax incentives over and above what the state will offer, according to the Arizona Daily Star.
And Nevada? Well, it has Vegas. Of course, Tesla itself has encouraged a bit of March Madness-style guesswork by posting a forum on its website in which readers and writers can hypothesize on where the factory will end up. Stay tuned.