Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Gigafactory #1 To Be In Nevada

Telsa announced on Thursday that the Gigafactory - their lithium battery production facility - will be located in Nevada. Here's what I find really interesting about this announcement:

  • The plant is expected to have a one hundred BILLION dollar impact on the economy over the next 20 years. That's five billion dollars ($5,000,000,000!) a year. I think there has to be some sort of financial slight of hand to come up with a number that big. I mean, they must be including every possible effect they can think of. Still, it's a huge win for Nevada.
  • The plant will have a carbon-neutral footprint. It will use solar, wind, and geothermal power to power itself. This wasn't mentioned in the above linked press release, but it was mentioned here. That's amazing.
  • The plant will be bigger than all other lithium battery plants in the world combined. Sweet Jesus!
  • In order for the deal to be official, the Nevada legislature still needs to approve a $1.25 billion tax incentive package. I'm sure they will.

There wasn't mention of it in any of these articles, but I wonder if there are still other sites under consideration. Musk has said he was planning on starting construction at multiple sites to mitigate the risk of construction of one plant falling behind and jeopardizing plans to roll out the Model 3. I do remember reading somewhere that that the selection of Nevada would pretty much rule out California, as Musk had that two plants that close to each other would constitute an unacceptable risk for a geographic catastrophe. That means Arizona, another possible Gigafactory location, is also probably ruled out. Arizona, in my opinion, was always a long shot. After all, we've got a law on the books forbidding Tesla to sell cars directly to consumers. There was a minimal effort to repeal that law last year, but thanks to the efforts of the car dealership lobby, it never went anywhere. Thanks car dealers and state legislators. You just cost your state $100 billion dollars.


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