Published on March 26th, 2014 | by Cynthia Shahan


Tucson Tries To Get Tesla Gigafactory

March 26th, 2014 by  

Recent Tesla news is that Tucson is working to convince Tesla that it would make the best home for Tesla’s coming gigafactory. This would bring jobs of various skill levels, a promising hope for those needing employment in the area. This factory is a great addition to any area of the country that longs for sustainable (green) jobs.

The Arizona Daily Star explains some of the ways Tucson is trying to get Tesla to bring the factory and its ~6,500 jobs to Tucson:

The city of Tucson has made a formal proposal to become the home of a $5 billion “gigafactory” for lithium-ion batteries for electric cars. Tesla Motors Inc.’s planned 10 million-square-foot plant would need up to 1,000 acres of land and create about 6,500 jobs. Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild told the Star that a site near local highways and the Union Pacific Railroad mainline has already been chosen, and that the city has prepared tax incentives on top of what the Arizona state government would offer to entice Tesla.

As reported previously, Tesla’s aim is to build enough battery cells per year by 2020 for about 500,000 vehicles — more battery cells than were produced in the whole of 2013 for all uses. Be sure to check out our post on the gigafactory unveiling for more details.

Tucson knows they want to be part of Tesla’s changing the world. It wants local change in employment and a green future. But many localities want the same. We’ll have to wait and see who Tesla chooses.

Read more on related Tesla stories:

Tesla Model X Reservations Exceed 12,000

Elon Musk Says Tesla Will OfferSelf Driving Cars Within Three Years

Tesla & Panasonic Sign Lithium-Ion Battery Cell Agreement

New Tesla Patent: 400-Mile Battery Pack Using Metal-Air & Lithium-Ion Batteries

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About the Author

is a Mother, an Organic Farmer, Licensed Acupuncturist, Anthropology Studies, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings who have lit the way for me for decades.

  • truff

    Anyone that thinks lithium ion battery production is “green” is horribly misinformed. But f*** the environment, need dem jabs

    • Bob_Wallace

      Green is a relative thing.

      Checked out that Galveston Bay oil spill? How about the Lake Michigan one? Or the Anacortes refinery spill? Oak Glen Nature Preserve spill in Ohio? Missouri River in North Dakota? Red Butte Creek Oil Spill in Utah?

      Those are some of the oil spills in the US. This month.

  • Tucson Native

    Please, it’s spelled T-U-C-S-O-N. It’s not Tuscany!

    • Bob_Wallace

      Your loss….

    • Thanks. As you can see, it was spelled correctly throughout the article, just a missed typo in the title.

  • Will E

    true, all must be in the picture to get the TESLA Factory.
    any city must be screened on these matters.
    And what is the amount of green energy,produced in Tucson to run the TESLA Factory.

  • Craig Allen

    Is Tesla willing to subject it’s employees to Arizona’s anti-Latino and anti-gay laws?

    • hmm, good question.

    • Benjamin Nead

      You make a valid point, Craig, but, as a Tucson resident for 30 years now, I can attest that many – if not most of us – down here are regularly puzzled, shocked and angered by the things proposed in the state legislature 100 miles away in Phoenix. Think of Tucson in the same way as you might think of Austin . . . a bit more socially progressive than the rest of Texas.

      It should be noted that Mesa, a Phoenix suburb, is also in the running for the gigafactory. Not to say that there aren’t more than a few open minds up that way as well, but the people who manage to get elected in the Phoenix area are, unfortunately, often the ones who often have the shrillest voices and show Arizona in the worst light nationally (take Sheriff Joe Arpaio, for instance . . . please!) In addition to generally more congenial and humanistic politics down here, Tucson is also a leader in solar PV deployment as well as EV and bicycle usage. We also consume less water (a valuable a precious commodity in the desert) per capita than the average Phoenix valley resident.

      On a more logistical point for building a battery factory here, Tucson has a big advantage over the other Arizona cities who have submitted bids: best proximity to Mexican shipping ports for raw materials coming in and most direct freight rail lines to the west for finished product headed out. Come to think of it, that unique combination makes us look better than most of the other competition in the other states as well.

      • Brian

        And all that and record number of child endangerment due to local politics. Kids for money schemes. The corruption and low visibility to “accountability” is clearly present in Pima County! There needs to be accountability in elected officials and there is none in superior court, pima BOS, and Tucson City! Companies are being driven out by the corrupt and immoral environment in Tucson and Pima County! In Tucson, those who do not work want to get rid of those who work for a living or demand “fair share”. Take for example, Raytheon was sued by Pima County and Tucson repeatedly and the superior court endangered hundreds children of hardworking parents at Raytheon. There is little to no hope for Pima County and Tucson. Telsa knows that it could place itself into a situation of being sued for battery emmissions like the way ratheon was sued on behalf of residance of communities that got aprouved to be built so close to the raytheon plant…. Telsa would be puting its future at risk by comein here!

        • Benjamin Nead

          Full disclosure, please, Brian: when you say (sic) “comein here,” am I to assume you are, like me, a Tucson resident? If so, your most recent comments here remind me of so many “glass half full” naysayers who regularly chime in to online versions of Arizona Daily Star articles. I’m surprised you didn’t mention how bad the Modern Streetcar Project turned out.

          If you live elsewhere, then please mention your city of residence and then allow me or someone else here to dig up every negative headline regarding that locale.

        • slyventure

          Brian — Agreed. I live in Tucson. My prediction: the city will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with regard to entertaining Tesla’s bid to move here. Just ask Grand Canyon University. The city chose to lose $500,000/year on a loser municipal golf course over jobs and academic opportunities at a new campus. I’m sure it had nothing to do with GCU’s religious affiliation. They The city council believes it’s core constituency is a “union” of bus riding moochers ( It’s no wonder U of A grads leave Tucson in droves. Corruption and squandered opportunities reign supreme in Pima County and its citizens wonder why they’re stuck in a cycle of poverty. Hey Tucson: You’re not aloud to b*tch about your socioeconomic status when you keep voting for losers promising dreams of double rainbows and unicorns.

    • Green Globe

      As a Latino myself AZ is NOT anti-Latino. They are anti-illegal alien. GIGANTIC difference. I’m glad AZ had the *alls to try to do something about the illegal alien problems unlike my garbage state of CA where the politicians here have sold out the American citizens by protecting illegals for the hope of future votes. Disgusting.

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