A new $5 billion Tesla Motors plant, called a “Gigafactory,” which could employ as many as 6,500 workers, is being competed for by Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Nevada, and California.
California lawmakers and CA governor Jerry Brown’s administration are attempting to sweeten their offer by eliminating regulatory and financial obstacles to the plant’s construction in the state.
On Thursday morning, Brown and his cohorts, including Democrat Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Republican Sen. Ted Gaines, introduced Senate Bill 1309, which would offer Tesla Motors extra financial incentives and lighten “regulatory and environmental processes” for the battery factory Tesla wants to build.
California legislators claim they wrote the bill not only for the prospective jobs but also because Tesla would fight against climate change with its zero-emission vehicles.
One Capitol staffer implied that the bill might entail some changes in the California Environmental Quality Act.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Tuesday that his company might want to start preliminary work in three potential locations to jump-start its progress: “We’re probably going to do two or maybe three states all the way to creating a foundation and completing the plans and getting approval.”
It’s not surprising California is making a last-ditch effort to woo Tesla; Musk had said California was an unlikely choice because “circuitous project-approval process could take too long.” Musk figures the 10 million-square-foot factory will be finished by 2017.