Perhaps the biggest story within the electric vehicle industry to date is Tesla's planned Gigafactory. But where will it be? Tucson, if Tesla likes Tucson's proposal.
Tesla has stated that it will put its $5 billion Gigafactory (which will manufacturer more battery cells than are used in all the laptops of the world each year) in either Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, or Texas. Needless to say, officials in these states are hopeful Tesla will pick them, and bring the estimated 6,500 gigafactory jobs to their jurisdictions. Tucson has now submitted an official proposal.
"Mayor Jonathan Rothschild said land within the city has been identified with access to the Union Pacific mainline and the interstates," Gabriela Rico of the Arizona Daily Star notes.
"He also said the city has tax incentives to add to whatever tax incentives are offered by the Arizona Commerce Authority to lure Tesla to the state."
Unfortunately, while more was offered, Rothschild said he couldn't reveal anything else to the public. Just some more sales pitches.
“But I can say I look forward to meeting with Tesla officials and impressing them with what we have to offer,” he said. “Tesla’s founder wants to put men on Mars and power the world with solar. All our efforts in the state ought to be to bring Tesla to Tucson.”
“We are the home to the Mars exploratory mission at the University of Arizona and known nationally as the Solar City,” Rothschild said. “I think Tesla will feel right at home in Tucson.”
Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, also trying to woo Elon Musk and crew to his Arizona jurisdiction, noted in a letter that Intel, Boeing, Apple, Raytheon, and Honeywell all now have manufacturing facilities in Arizona. TreeHugger managing editor Lloyd Alter noted in communication with our team about this story that Arizona (and that entire Southwest region) really doesn't make any sense for a manufacturing plant that requires a lot of water. You know, with the whole threat of permanent drought the region is facing. We're not sure exactly how much water a Gigafactory would use, and I'm certain no one is at this point, but if you think you have a clue, drop a note in the comments below.
The Gigafactory is supposed to manufacture enough lithium-ion battery cells for 500,000 electric cars per year by 2020. Site selection is supposed to occur this year, construction is supposed to start in 2015, and production is supposed to start in 2017... just in time for the Tesla Model E.
Read more about the Tesla Gigafactory here: Tesla reveals details about its game-changing battery 'Gigafactory'