Washington Secretly Competed For Tesla ‘Gigafactory’

Jul 25, 2014

For the first time, we are learning that Washington competed to become the location for a massive battery factory for Tesla electric cars. State officials confirmed that Thursday even as reports are surfacing that Tesla has broken ground near Reno, Nevada. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports.

A Tesla Model S.
Credit Daniel Piraino / Flickr

California-based Tesla calls it a gigafactory. It’s a 10 million square foot, multi-billion-dollar battery production facility. Tesla says the factory could employ more than 6,000 people. It would manufacture enough batteries to allow the electric car maker to produce half a million cars a year by 2020. John Boyd is a consultant in New Jersey who helps companies decide where to locate facilities. Tesla is not one of his clients, but he calls this factory the most:

Boyd: “…coveted economic development project in North America today.”

The Washington Department of Commerce says it mounted an “aggressive effort” beginning last fall to land the gigafactory for the state. That effort included the personal involvement of Governor Jay Inslee. But in the end, Washington was not among the finalists. The governor’s office says the state does plan to compete for future Tesla jobs.

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