News outlets are all abuzz with rumors that Tesla Motors has chosen Nevada to build their $5 billion gigafactory which will build the advanced batteries for its next generation of electric cars in America as well as be able to supply other auto makers and battery users, however no official word has been given from the Nevada legislature yet.
Nevada Governor, Brian Sandoval, has scheduled a news conference for 7 p.m. ET on Thursday in Carson City where a major economic announcement will be made and confirmed that Tesla representatives will be in attendance. Additionally, special legislative meetings are being put together next week to reportedly discuss the near $500 million dollar incentive package Elon Musk is looking for, which are all very positive signs that Nevada will be Tesla’s new home.
Originally five states were in the running for the gigafactory – Nevada, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California, but none have been able to deliver on the tax incentives for Tesla. Tesla has reported that they cleared land near Reno that would be sufficient to house the 10 million square foot factory that would produce up to 500,000 battery packs a year by 2020 and employ around 6,500 people. Tesla has partnered with supplier Panasonic to help with the steep start up cost that is expected between $4 and $5 billion dollars, of which Panasonic has committed to invest $1.4 billion of.
The plant is intended to enable the company to dramatically lower the cost of the automotive-grade lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars making them more accessible to a more mainstream market. Tesla has also implied they want the plant up and running in time for the company’s production of its third model, the Model III, which is aimed to be around $35,000 price range, which comes in at almost half of what the current cheapest model is.