On Thursday, Tesla put to rest at least one major question about where its $US5-billion battery factory is going to be located.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk told Wall Street analysts that a “construction pad” had been completed in Nevada.
But he also said that “[w]e’re going to be doing something similar in one or two other states, which is something I previously said we’d do, because I think it makes sense to have multiple things going in parallel.”
And he complicated matters when he said that in Nevada the “ball is on the court of the governor and the state legislature,” suggesting that Tesla isn’t going to move any more dirt, much less erect a facility that’s predicted to create 6,500 jobs, until there’s some action on the government side.
(You can read the entire transcript of the call at Seeking Alpha.)
So what’s going on with the Gigafactory? Here’s everything we currently know:
Tesla can produce 200,000 cars per year without a Gigafactory, but to get to 300,000, a Gigfactory is essential.
Elon Musk seems to think that a single Gigafactory may not be able to crank out enough batteries to supply the 500,000 vehicles Tesla wants to produce by 2020.
If Nevada gets a Gigafactory, that doesn’t mean New Mexico, Texas, or California are out of the running for additional Gigafactories. Apparently, it could boil down to what kind of deal the state and leaders like California Gov. Jerry Brown offer Tesla.
Tesla now has a deal with Panasonic to get the Gigafactory up and running. We don’t yet know how much money Panasonic is going to kick in, but it could reach $US1 billion.
The Nevada site is near Reno.
California sites could be at the old Concord Naval Weapons Station…
…or near the bankrupt city of Stockton.
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