Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas are in a mad dash to be the winning state picked as the site for Tesla’s proposed $5 billion battery factory.
For example, in Texas and Arizona, politicians are trying to muscle proposals through the legislature that would allow Tesla to sell directly to the public.
Ben Kallo, senior analyst for the private equity firm Richard W. Baird & Co, thinks Tesla will position themselves with the state that has the best merits as opposed to who ponies up the most incentives for the automaker.
Analysts think Tesla will make their choice based on three things: easy access to the company’s Freemont plant, good infrastructure and a good pool of workers.
The plant, announced in February, will open in about three years and employ 6,500 employees. It is expected to produce lithium-ion batteries for 500,000 cars per year, doubling the worldwide production of lithium-ion batteries and cut battery production costs 30 percent in its first year of operation alone.
Tesla’s ultimate goal is to use the batteries to create a $35,000 Gen 3 car, its first aimed at the middle class.
Nevada may be a good choice for Tesla because it has open land, the only operating lithium mine in the U.S. and existing wind, solar and geothermal power facilities. But Texas is also in the fray – Tesla executives met with San Antonio officials last week.