Business and political leaders in the Phoenix area are pointing to the Reno area in Northern Nevada as the likely spot for Tesla Motors’ $5 billion lithium-ion battery gigafactory.
Though negotiations remain in play for the 1,000-acre site in Arizona, Texas and New Mexico,
one real estate executive who spoke under the condition of anonymity told reporters Tesla may already be talking to Nevada officials about permits, zoning and land use.
Those discussions have not reached that point in any of the other states thus far for the gigafactoy, which could employ as many as 6,500 workers and sprawl over 10 million square feet.
The 5,000-acre Reno Stead Airport, a former U.S. Air Force Base is being weighed as a potential location for Tesla, who needs railroad access for the plant, as well as power from a solar and renewable energy field. The Reno Stead Airport location has both – it’s even on the same railroad as Tesla’s Freemont, Calif. assembly plant.
So far, Tesla officials are staying mum on their intentions.
Arizona is trying to remain in the hunt by passing House Bill 2123, which would allow Tesla to directly sell to customers in Arizona. The bill died in The House on Friday, but could be resurrected once the state budget is finalized.
Though passing House Bill 2123 would certainly look like a nice peace offering from Arizona, its considered separate from whether or not Arizona would land the gigafactory, Tesla lobbyist Jimmy Hamilton said.
Arizona Automobile Dealers Association Bobbi Sparrow is also curious about Arizona’s next move regarding House Bill 2123, but thinks Arizona’s changes of landing the plant are nil.
Texas and New Mexico are also not to be counted out. Each state could offer Tesla big incentives to make their home there, too.