Giga Factory Location

Giga Factory Location

OK, so who thinks they know where the Giga Factory is to be built? Is it New Mexico, Texas, California, Nevada, Wyoming or somewhere else? We have at most 7 days to get it figured out before he just tells us the answer!

I live in Texas and while I can see some real reasons it might be located here (tax benefits, transport costs, labor force, help with convincing our "lobbyist loving state congressional leaders" to open Texas up to selling Teslas) I'm really thinking we don't deserve it!

My vote is for Wyoming, what's your vote?

aita139 | March 24, 2014

Tesla can very well be the company that changes the auto industry forever. Not just with EV designs, but with the way cars are sold in most states today. I have never walked out of a dealership and felt "great" about the experience, but I should, after all, I am spending thousands of dollars.

All four states have many good reasons for Tesla to invest and it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Nevada may have an edge for logistical and proximity reasons, not to mention, they don't have taxes like the other three.

I suppose the wildcard is California itself. After all, people complain about California, but it's a massive economy on the rebound...

Nevadan | March 30, 2014

The Tesla lithium battery 'Giga Factory' would be a huge game-changer for northern Nevada, but we're competing with states that are much more adept at doing business development...Texas, Arizona and to a lesser extent New Mexico. We have a few things going for us, though.

From a logistics and cost standpoint, it is hard to argue against us. We're on the main rail freight lines. We're on the main transcontinental highways and we're at the hub of both an East-West and North-South highway system. We're in much closer proximity to Tesla's Fremont manufacturing plant, with a short, straight shot by road or rail. We have no corporate income tax. We've got duty-free warehousing. We have great real estate available in the biggest tech park in the US. We have tons of renewable energy in geothermal, wind and sun.

Tesla has publicly stated that it intends to source the minerals for the batteries domestically. We've got the only active Lithium mine in the US and many other lithium deposits that could be tapped. We're only a relative stone's throw from the only active rare earths mine in the US, at Mountain Pass. We have untapped graphite reserves in shuttered mines that could go online pretty quickly. Cobalt, potash, copper, manganese and a whole host of other necessary minerals can be mined in the vast expanses of public land in Nevada.

It has been stated, by a political pundit in Las Vegas, that this project will not come to Nevada because our schools are perceived as poor. Despite our state government underfunding the system, if one looks closely, it is the massive and massively dysfunctional Clark County School District, in Las Vegas, that drags the statistics down. Washoe County School District (Reno) high schools rank consistently in the top 10% of high schools nationally and Davidson Academy in Reno is a near-top 100 high school, out of about 26,000 nation-wide. Likewise, the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada commissioned a study that looked at the Washoe County School District as if it were a state and the study found that while our schools in Reno need to do a better job with graduation rate, our schools do consistently well at preparing kids for college. In college readiness, our district would rank 15th nationally, amongst states, and 12th in taking and passing Advanced Placement exams, for instance. Finally, while our higher education system doesn't compare with the UC system, the University of Nevada, Reno is an up and coming, tier-two national research university and has strong programs in mining, engineering and business.

David70 | March 30, 2014


Your points make sense to me. I lived in Reno 8 years while in grad school.

I've heard that Stead AFB is a likely location. Have you heard anything on that?

Kleist | March 30, 2014

Nevada makes most sense because the battery engineers are only a short drive away. For the first factory engineers need to spend a lot of time in the factory.

Nevadan | April 1, 2014

I've only heard that Tesla officials visited Stead and the Reno-Tahoe Industrial Center, which is where Apple is building a large solar powered data center.

Red Sage ca us | April 2, 2014

ARIZONA: Hostility toward Tesla Motors' mode of distribution is tempered somewhat by their overall acceptance of technology initiatives. Their leaders' political stance on certain social issues and stuff is rather... troubling. That is especially noticeable to those who might have to move from California to be employed there. In theory, a great place to build. In practice...

NEVADA: Well, then. What's not to like? Some might point to Sin City, AKA Las Vegas, as being a den of iniquity and whatnot... So what? I don't care what people do when they aren't on duty. As with the other locations, it is a place where air conditioning is imperative for the poor souls who must be permanently refrigerated precisely between 58 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit, for the sake of comfort. Me? Hell, anything under 75 is downright COLD.

NEW MEXICO: I've heard that folks in Santa Fe are sick and tired of Californians moving in, and think they should just stay home, where they belong. It is a beautiful state, that I have driven through several times, while on my way elsewhere. I've only set foot in it though, maybe three times over six decades. I usually just push through to El Paso when East bound... Or go on to Tucson when West bound. I should change that one day.

TEXAS: An interesting interpretation of the Free Market System seems to boil down to, "Do what we say, or else!" I really don't like that they blocked Tesla Motors from selling direct to Customers there. The good news is that by doing so, they may have created more Customers for them in Texas, and elsewhere. Oh, well. At least it isn't New Jersey. Or North Carolina. Or Florida.

Where should it be built? Heck, idunno. If I were to flip a double headed coin, or roll a loaded die, my choice would be Nevada.

mdemetri | May 5, 2014

I just saw this article in the Sacramento Bee (April 20) where Simon Sproule suggests that California may still be in the running for the Gigafactory. IMHO, California should definitely have been one of the original contenders.

' “Yes, California has shown interest. And, yes, conversations are going on with the state,” Simon Sproule, vice president for Tesla’s communications and marketing, told me last week.

Maybe it’s a tease. But Musk still wants more stuff from California lawmakers. Sproule said California “can be a viable option,” if conditions are met. California would need to find suitable land and allow construction to begin fast. Musk’s goal is to build what he calls a Gigafactory that would produce enough batteries to manufacture 500,000 cars a year within three years.'

mdemetri | May 7, 2014

Elon (Q1 conf call): "California back in the running for the Gigafactory...but in the improbable but not impossible category" | May 7, 2014

Also in the same Q1 call, about possibility of locating in California - it has nothing to do with incentives but everything to do with how long the permitting process will take through various organizations in CA. Other states are far more streamlined (not a direct quote).

Red Sage ca us | May 7, 2014

My Tesla hating Buddy was rather steamed that California wasn't either either the first, or sole choice for the Gigafactory. He believes other states were chosen because of 'Right to Work' (AKA Right to FIRE), less stringent environmental controls/regulations, and to avoid Unionizing. Personally, I think that if this works as planned, all the states under consideration will each get their own Gigafactory. It is nice to know that California is back in the mix though.

ashaskevich | May 15, 2014

Elon stated today that there will be 2 locations but that someday there will be a need for over 200 giga-factories.

Elon, you are wrong.

You will need 400 factories worldwide in 20 years. You will need 4 in the next 5 years.

Ahh, 4 states to put them in, so it will be one in each state.

20 years ago, if people said that the internet will have 10mbs connections and people would watch live video, they would be labeled crazy. That is 1994.

I think Bill Gates said that.

And really, who cares where they are located, so long as they are producing battery packs.

Brian H | May 15, 2014

There are no rare earths used in Tesla batteries, or elsewhere in the car.
CA is too in love with producing and deploying red tape to get out of the improbable bin.

renwo S alset | May 15, 2014

California has always been the 1st choice, all the other discussions are simply leverage. Workforce and tech development have always been the top priority and you aren't going to get that in some armpit out in a desert.

shop | May 15, 2014

The ONLY reason California isn't in the running is red tape. As Elon stated, building a green field factory takes a LOT of permits and in California, each permit requires up to years of permitting. Tesla simply does not have the time to wait for that. It isn't unions, it isn't right to work, it is how long it takes to build a new factory.

And in particular, the environmental reviews are the ones that take the longest.

renwo S alset | May 15, 2014

That's why they are building two, one in California and one in some armpit and if CA doesn't fast-track, The other goes ahead, but the pressure is on and CA will get it done. The second site will open when demand exceeds the first (one of 200).

Red Sage ca us | May 15, 2014

Turtles, jackrabbits, lizards, Joshua Trees, vultures, coyotes,... Yes, the Great State of California values its resources and will have its due diligence when it comes to protecting all aspects of the environment. It isn't just 'empty desert', you know.

On the other hand... Tesla Motors might consider finding out if certain Tribal Organizations who occupy sovereign lands whose borders are within California might be willing to lease a few hundred thousand acres of 'empty desert'... Considering how well things went with the Chinese, I think they would have a decent chance.

renwo S alset | May 15, 2014

It will be just over the pass out in the valley. Lots of vacant farmland and an easy commute. It doesn't need to be out with the lizards.

mdemetri | May 15, 2014

Ya, California is by far and away the best choice if they can start building right away. We will see if Jerry Brown can grease the wheels to make this happen. Tesla was born in California, has most of its sales in California and ZEV credits from California have been critical to Tesla's success. Coupled with proximity to the Fremont plant and an educated and high tech workforce, California is the best choice provided it does not slow the GF from getting up and running.

renwo S alset | May 16, 2014

CA legislature can fast-track any project they choose, watch for this to happen in the next month.

sbeggs | May 16, 2014

I agree with @VIN20353 and @mdemetri and @RedSage. California, here we come!

mdemetri | May 16, 2014

I think getting CARB to back down on excluding Tesla from the $2500 rebate is likely also a key part of the negotiation. Can Jerry Brown and the California legislature over-ride CARB? I sure hope so.

sbeggs | May 16, 2014


renwo S alset | May 16, 2014

The leverage isn't just with Elon, in exchange for bringing the factory to CA, Jerry can offer to re-instate the CARB credit to ALL BEVs. CA wins ans so does EM, he wants to expand all BEVs and the biggest market is CA.

mdemetri | June 6, 2014

California is working hard to get the gigafactory:

CARB credit is re-instated and now bi-partisan legislation to accelerate permitting etc for the gigafactory (see story in link from the LA times below). Bi-partisan legislation in California is as rare as hen's teeth, so this has serious momentum and will get passed and signed by the Governor (although details are lacking at the moment).

Lintfilms | June 20, 2014

What about a location that hasn't been reported as in the running where land is cheap $0.03 per square foot or less. It has the closest US Deep Water Port to Europe, it has one of the world's largest aluminum operations, it has plenty of renewable GREEN energy, in fact about 2000 MW of capacity with about 1 billion KWh per month just freed up at a rate of $0.03 per kWH, it has recently rebuilt rail lines with quadruple their old capacity, it has a Free Trade Zone, it has a deal in place with NO TAXES for 10 years for the company, INCLUDING no income taxes for the company's employees UP TO 10,000 employees for 10 years it has the world's richest Nickel, Copper, and Lithium Mines a few hours away by rail or truck, it has one of the best educated workforces in the world, and the Governor of the state gave Tesla the right to sell their cars direct to consumers, and earlier this week committed to a $225 million investment in a factory for Elon's other company Solar City, which will likely be a big consumer of the batteries produced at the plant and a potential partner to Tesla. Massena, NY home to one of Alcoa's largest factories undergoing a $600 million renovation has all those things with its sister city Ogdensburg, NY and through Start-Up NY at SUNY Potsdam Massena where a $2 billion natural gas pipeline to nowhere was just built could deliver on those massive tax advantages. Food for thought!

Captain_Zap | June 20, 2014


Interesting thought. They are close to the seaports for Asia with the West Coast candidates.

For an East Coast plant, they could ship the car to the Gigafactory without the battery pack and install the battery pack at the Eastern seaport Gigafactory location for shipment.

Lintfilms | June 24, 2014

What if I told you two of the richest untapped graphite deposits in the US were less than an hour and a half away from Massena, NY would you think that might increase the likelihood of considering an unconsidered location?

Bighorn | June 24, 2014

Maybe for the 4th gigafactory.

billhamm | July 10, 2014

There was a new posting that Tesla is considering Dallas.

The main reason Musk is building the Giga-factory is to reduce the cost of the batteries.
The only mine in the US producing lithium is Rockwood Lithium in Silver Peak, Nevada which is 245 miles from Tesla’s factory in Fremont, Ca. Tesla’s factory in Fremont has the capability to produce 500,000 cars per year. Each battery weighs 900 pounds. Dallas is 1,225 east of Silver Peak and then 1,470 miles to Fremont, Ca. as the crow flies. They have found huge lithium deposits in northern Nevada and western Wyoming but now only Silver Peak can deliver. So building the Giga-Factory in Dallas would add 2,450 miles plus that amount of time extra into the cost. To reduce the cost the most they might build the giga-factory in Silver Peak. It has a railroad and they could put up pre-fab housing quickly.

Rocky_H | July 10, 2014

Lithium is in the name, but by weight I'm pretty sure it's not even close to the biggest ingredient that goes into the battery packs.

Captain_Zap | July 10, 2014

Is Dallas close to the SpaceX launch site?

JPPTM | July 10, 2014

TO repeat an oft quoted line, last year @ Teslive, Elon stated that 'lithium was the salt in the salad'. Trivial amounts.

jstrach3 | July 10, 2014

My bet is they'll start construction in Nevada & New Mexico.

Cattledog | July 10, 2014

Capt - Not really, launch site is probably 500 miles south.

bp | July 11, 2014

San Antonio is one of the locations being scouted for the factory location and is about 4 hours from the location where SpaceX has been looking at a launch site.

Tesla should add Supercharge support along the coast, to make it possible to reach South Padre Island and Brownsville - which is not currently on the 2014 or 2015 plans.

[Still waiting for Texas to connect to the SC network...]

Dawn | August 11, 2014

Reno seems to be best. Following reasons.

1. Its close to Silicon Valley talent. (Lake Tahoe talent is Sil valleys local vacation retreat.). The first giga factory is going to need technical talent & brains. 'Development' engineering, Pilot production brains and not 'mass production' brains. Like only California can offer..
.. and space, which California does not have (at least not where the brains are.).

The second etc plant could be built with a 'copy exact' 'square beaker' method.. so you don't need lots of education base for the second. ie. China, Texas, Mexico is all good as second factory options. This is a mass production labour requirement.. very different to the 'first factory.

2. Reno has vast open spaces of cheap land for solar farms. It would be great to see this land being useful.
3. Hwy-80 is the main route across the US. It lends itself to a model of being the refueling spot for x-country travel. batteries built and charged there are in a good supply chain position.
4. Nevada has little in the way of industry. Gambling and Mining is about it.
5. Ask the Matsuhita/NP engineers where they're like to live? Do they Ski? Do they Gamble?
The first factory will be a game of talent.. before any tax incentives.

Regarding the others: Texas? I would be concerned about Sabotage. NM: Brains issue. WY: Serious Brains issue. CA: Lots of brains... but hard to expand.. no space in Silicon valley for this size of plant. No brains in the cheap areas.. as soon as you get east of Livermore the brains die out.. .

CA or NV.

Wait and See i guess....

Aside: (A Supercharger in Tahoe would be nice BTW!!!!)

Bighorn | August 11, 2014

"WY serious brains issue"?

If you read back you'll discover that the first person to predict Reno was from Wyoming--months ago. Not too hard to guess at this point since it's been announced:). Where are you from?