Tucson Fills Out $3B Permit for Tesla Battery Plant
- Aug 06, 2014
By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor
Tesla Motors continues to seek the perfect location for its brand new battery factory that would supply lithium-ion batteries to the firm’s Fremont assembly plant.
Tucson is among the finalists, and the Palo Alto, Calif.-based manufacturer of zero-emission electric vehicles has just recently received a building permit from the city’s development services department. The company will choose from locations in Arizona, Texas, Nevada and New Mexico, as previously reported in March. Since then, California joined the race by offering special tax breaks for the carmaker.
Initially, Tesla Motors’ purpose was to develop a $5 billion, 10 million-square-foot lithium-ion battery factory on around 1,000 acres of land in one of the aforementioned states. With completion slated in 2015 and production starting in 2017, the plant would provide jobs to about 6,500 people. The recently issued permit is for an up-to-5-million-square-foot one-story building at an address yet undetermined. However, a site with access to the Union Pacific mainline and the interstates has also previously been identified.
According to Arizona Daily Star, Mayor Jonathan Rothschild sent the permit to the company’s officials along with a brief memo assuring them that the City of Tucson is “ready to proceed” as soon as Tesla comes to a decision. Rothschild told the Daily Star that the company’s officials expressed their concern about bureaucracy getting in the way of the development, during a recent visit to the city. “This is a concrete sign that, not only can we act expeditiously, but we’re ready,” he added.
Image of the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California, courtesy of Steve Jurvetson via Wikipedia