Nikola Motor Selects Arizona for $1B Plant

The city of Buckeye will become home to the company's 1 million-square-foot, hydrogen-electric, semi-truck manufacturing headquarters facility.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey

Nikola Motor Co. will erect its hydrogen-electric, semi-truck manufacturing headquarters facility in the City of Buckeye, roughly 35 miles west of Phoenix. The electric-vehicle manufacturer will invest in excess of $1 billion to realize the 1 million-square-foot development, which will result in the creation of 2,000 jobs.

“Nikola Motor Company’s selection of Arizona demonstrates that we are leading the charge when it comes to attracting innovative, industry-disrupting companies,” Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said in a prepared statement.

Nikola searched high and low for just the right spot, spending the last 12 months examining more than 30 site locations across nine states before settling on Buckeye. The new zero-emission manufacturing facility will sprout up on a 500-acre site within Trillium at Douglas Ranch, El Dorado Holdings and JDM Partners’ 3,000-acre master-planned community.

Arizona brought quite a bit to the table in the bid to secure the Nikola project. The State’s list of offerings includes a pro-business environment, an educated workforce and a location providing direct access to leading markets, not to mention incentives. Arizona will designate the car manufacturer’s facility as a Foreign Trade Zone; Buckeye will rebate 49 percent of the sales taxes associated with the construction and operation of the plant; and the El Dorado/JDM development team is providing the land and infrastructure for the project. Buckeye is among the top 10 fastest growing cities in the country, per the U.S. Census Bureau.

REELING THEM IN

The Grand Canyon State has been quite a magnet for attracting new businesses. “Arizona continues to prove that our talent, operating environment and quality of life are exactly what business leaders are seeking,” Sandra Watson, president & CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority, said in prepared remarks on the Nikola deal.

New commitments to Arizona over the last 12 months include online pet products retailer Chewy Inc.’s decision to continue its southwestern U.S. expansion with the development of an 800,000-square-foot e-commerce facility on a 49-acre site in Goodyear. DuPont Fabros Technology Inc. acquired a 57-acre site in Mesa for the construction of a 1 million-square-foot data center campus. Additionally, Benchmark Electronics revealed plans to relocate from Texas to Arizona, and Upgrade Inc. leased 38,000 square feet of office space for its relocation from San Francisco to downtown Phoenix.

Nikola is scheduled to commence development of its new manufacturing plant by the close of 2019.

Photo via the Office of the Governor of Arizona