Just Where Will Tesla Build Its Gigafactory?

Tesla Model S

Tesla announced its plans to build a “gigafactory” to produce batteries early this week, now the question is where are they going to build it?

Their new plant is planned to be huge with the capacity to produce batteries for 500,000 cars every year. Wherever they build it, the plant has the potential to be a huge boon to the state it calls home.

It’s projected to provide up to 6,500 workers with jobs and is expected to cost $5 billion to construct, so it’s foreseeable that any states considered would want to work with Tesla to make the cut. Right now, only four states are in contention for the gigafactory.

Nevada, Arizona, Texas and New Mexico are the four finalist according to Tesla. The proposed plant would be powered mostly by wind and solar energy and will cover 1,000 acres when it’s finished and ready to begin battery production in 2017. As to exactly which locations in those four states are up for consideration, Tesla hasn’t yet revealed.

Tesla isn’t the only one looking at building battery plants, but they are the only one looking at a plant of this scale, and it’s what will hopefully allow them to reduce the cost of their batteries. It will also let them produce more batteries a year by 2020 than were produced worldwide in 2013.

Cost reductions won’t take so long to be realized. Tesla estimates that the per-kilowatt cost of its battery packs will be reduced by 30% in year one alone.

Building such an ambitious project is going to take a lot of money, and Tesla plans to sell $1.6 billion in bonds to the public as part of its financing effort. Funds from that sale would go toward the factory and toward the development of a less expensive electric car that Tesla hopes to have on the road within three years.

Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. Nicole also writes for NerdApproved and GeekMom.