Read The Full Article On: Businessinsider
Tesla still hasn’t officially confirmed the location of its forthcoming US Gigafactory, but the options are continuing to narrow.
The Texas’ comptrollers’ office on Thursday made public the company’s land use application for a parcel of land near Austin, Texas. The city has been a contender for months against Tulsa, about 450 miles north.
That land currently houses a concrete plant, and is located near major highways and Austin’s airport. Construction on the 4 to 5 million square foot plant could commence as soon as October, Tesla said in the documents.
“Tesla has an option to purchase this land, but has not exercised it,” Musk confirmed on Twitter.
Tesla’s local attorney called the possible deal a potential game changer.
“In the event we are fortunate to have them locate the factory here, it’ll be a game-changer for coming out of the economic situation we’re in right now,” Richard Suttle Jr told the Austin American Statesman. “The jobs that will be available to all segments of our community will help us through the recovery and keep Austin’s economy strong. If they come here, it will create thousands of entry level jobs that do not require a college education. That’s what our economy needs.”
According to the paper, the package agreed upon by the local school district could save Tesla up to $68 million over a decade. The forthcoming factory will be Tesla’s second in the US to produce cars, as well as possibly its eventual Cybertruck or electric semi-truck.
Tulsa has taken the more performative approach to courting Musk. The city repainted its 75-foot Golden Driller statue to look like the billionaire, and its mayor tweeted a rendering of a potential police Cybertruck saying it only makes sense to buy local.
“While I cannot comment on potential projects, it is clear that Tesla and Tulsa were forged in the same spirit,” mayor G.T. Bynum said in May. “Both founded by pioneers who dreamt big and made it happen. Both trying to change the world with a new kind of energy. Both investing big in what matters most: people. Tulsa is a city that doesn’t stifle entrepreneurs — we revere them. And as Tesla continues to rapidly change transportation all around the world, I can’t imagine a better place for them to further that important work than Green Country.”
Tesla, however, has a record of preferring fiscal incentives.
In 2014, the company received more than $1 billion from the state of Nevada to construct its battery factory near Reno. Still, Tesla has a complicated relationship with Texas. While the company does have showrooms in the state, it’s technically forbidden from selling its cars in person there because it does not use a traditional dealership model. Instead, would-be Texan customers have to purchase the car “out of state” online and have it shipped to them.
Drama with California during the coronavirus could outweigh any beef with Texas, though.
“Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately,” Musk tweeted during California’s shelter-in-place orders that forced it to shutter operations. “If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependent on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.”