Those who have already written off California’s chances of winning the battle over who gets to host Tesla’s Gigafactory may soon have to rethink that position, based on recent moves made by the populous western state.
The Californian Senate recently made some rather aggressive moves towards that end, intending to improve its chances of winning the $5 billion battery Gigafactory.
While California had seemingly dropped to being one of the least likely locations — with states such as Nevada and/or Texas appearing far more likely to win the factory — the recent moves certainly seem to put it right back into the running. A hard outcome to predict, though.
The new legislation in question — California Senate Bill SB-1309 — would remove many of the regulatory and permitting roadblocks that had (likely) made Tesla look elsewhere in the first place, despite most of the EV manufacturer’s operations already being based in the state.
Given that Tesla stated a few weeks ago that it would be breaking ground on the Gigafactory (possibly at multiple sites in different states) within a few weeks, California presumably doesn’t have much time left to woo the company.
Some of the language from the bill is excerpted below, coming to us via Greentech Media:
This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to expedite groundbreaking and construction in California of a large-scale battery factory to manufacture batteries for both electric-vehicle and stationary uses. This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation, including, but not limited to, financial incentives and changes to regulatory and environmental processes, to expedite groundbreaking and construction in California of a large-scale battery factory to manufacture batteries for both electric-vehicle and stationary uses thus increasing the production of electric vehicles and renewable energy consistent with California’s efforts to fight climate change as well as creating economic opportunity and thousands of jobs in California.
Interesting, but certainly hard to say if that’s enough to take Tesla’s eyes off of Nevada, Texas, New Mexico, and/or Arizona, with Nevada and Texas appearing to be the favorites based on industry talk.
As we reported previously, the current plan is for ground to break on at least two potential sites in order to ensure that the plant gets up and running as soon as possible — with one or even two sites serving as a backup, more or less.
Whether or not one of those states ends up being California is hard to tell at this point, but it won’t be surprising if at some point the state does end up hosting a “Gigafactory,” especially when you consider the fact that Elon Musk thinks that there will eventually need to be “hundreds of gigafactories.”
Image: California state flag fist image via Shutterstock
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