Tesla has confirmed that its Gigafactory battery plant will be built in Reno, Nevada.
Nevada beat back competition from California, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona to home the $5 billion Gigafactory, so called because its annual production will total 1 Gigawatt of energy.
Tesla dropped a big hint that it favoured Reno when it broke ground at the site in July, though it began preparations at some of the other sites, too.
Ultimately, Nevada was the only logical option for the Gigafactory, a result of its proximity to Tesla’s car building plant in Fremont, California and the fact it has the only active lithium mine in the USA – Tesla cars are powered by lithium-ion batteries.
Arizona and Texas didn’t exactly help themselves by banning Tesla’s direct sales centres, which bypass the powerful dealer networks. New Mexico, meanwhile, was unable to come up with the right incentives package – Tesla asked for a $500 million contribution.
The parlous legal situation in California, that makes it very easy for large-scale construction projects to be blocked, was never really in the running.
Between its construction and operation, the new Gigafactory will create around 6,500 jobs in Nevada.
The Gigafactory is central to Tesla’s expansion plans, which begin with the BMW 3-Series-rivalling Model 3, due on the market in 2017. If Tesla’s projections turn out to be accurate, a second Gigafactory will be needed by 2020.
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