After much speculation, Tesla has revealed Reno, Nevada as the site where it will build its ‘Gigafactory’.
Last night, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, and the state of Nevada made their partnership to build the world’s largest lithium-ion battery factory official. The facility is expected to be finished by 2017 and will be instrumental in allowing Tesla to market an affordable electric vehicle (EV).
Mr Musk stated, “The Gigafactory is an important step in advancing the cause of sustainable transportation and will enable the mass production of compelling electric vehicles for decades to come. Together with Panasonic and other partners, we look forward to realizing the full potential of this project.”
The plant will be jointly operated with Panasonic and is likely to provide over 6,500 new jobs for the area.
In total, the project will cost in the region of $4-5 billion dollars, some of which will be subsidised by Nevada’s incentive package, estimated to be worth up to $1.25 billion.
However, Mr Musk made it clear it is not just about the incentive package that Nevada offered, which was not the biggest out of the five competing states, it was about choosing a state that were committed to working towards a sustainable future.
What’s more, Reno is geographically well placed for Tesla, being within reach of Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California. Nevada also offers excellent renewable energy resources, especially in the way of solar power, which Tesla will harness to power it’s Gigafactory.
“I am grateful that Elon Musk and Tesla saw the promise in Nevada,” Nevada Governor, Brian Sandoval, said, “These 21st century pioneers, fueled with innovation and desire, are emboldened by the promise of Nevada to change the world.”
The initial aim of the Gigafactory is lower the price of lithium-ion batteries through mass production, enabling Tesla to market their most affordable EV to date, the Model 3.
Due to go on sale in 2017, shortly after the Gigafactory is ready to start battery production, the Model 3 will encompass the same benefits as the Model S, such as a range close to 300 miles, but be available at half the price (approximately £30,000).
Tesla, USA Today