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Tesla provides California a teachable momentPosted by Ashley Hong, Policy Intern on Feb. 28, 2014
This week California-based Tesla Motors announced it is considering four states -- Arizona, Nevada, Texas and New Mexico -- for it's new manufacturing facility that will eventually employ 6,500 workers.
We are proud that California is home to the first models of Tesla automobiles and that they are expanding to meet growing consumer demand for their products. But we are disappointed that California will not host the Gigafactory for the development of the next generation "Gen III" mass market vehicle. According to company filings, Tesla plans to build its Gigafactory on anywhere from 500-1,000 acres of land in the aforementioned states. The company expects the factory to run at full capacity in about 2020, employing 6,500 people and producing around 500,000 cars.
We wonder if California was on the list for consideration. If so, why did we fall short? Of course, we can't expect every manufacturer to pick California for the next investments, but we should expect our fair share. California offers abundant resources, skilled workers, access to markets and other benefits. We urge state leaders to determine if Tesla would have expanded here if not for a reason that we should fix. This is a teachable moment - let's make appropriate changes and increase the odds that the next big decision by a California manufacturer will be in our favor.
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