Fremont based electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors is growing and has announced their plans for a massive 10 million square foot ‘gigafactory’ needed to manufacture the rechargeable lithium ion batteries that their line of zero emissions cars use to operate.
A blog posted to the company’s website in late February highlighted their desire to expand and improve upon their lithium ion batteries and initially listed four states, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas, as being the likely candidates to house the behemoth project.
Politicians within the state of California, including Governor Jerry Brown, and 21st District Assemblyman Adam Gray are doing what ever they can though to try and lure Tesla to build their factory in California in hopes of retaining the 6,500 jobs that would come with it.
Governor Brown announced last Thursday of a $420 million dollar tax credit legislation approved for Southern California based aerospace contractors Lockheed-Martin, that will also include tax saving incentives intended for companies like Tesla.
Gray, whose district includes Patterson, has been hitting the pavement touting Patterson as a shovel ready location within the state that is ready to house the Tesla plant.
“We have to do everything we can to get jobs for the community,” Gray said by phone interview Tuesday.
“I wrote a letter to the Governor saying we have one of the few sites ready to go in the state,” Gray said. He went on to add that Patterson has the large lot size needed to house the projected 10 million square foot facility.
Gray acknowledged Patterson’s foresight in planning the cities’ business parks and said he has offered to work with Tesla and the Governor to find additional incentive opportunities to land the gigafactory here.
“I stand ready to do anything that the company, the county, or the city needs to make this happen,” Gray said.
Patterson Community Development Director Joel Andrews confirmed that the Arambel Business Park currently has the capacity for the gigafactory, but that it’s construction would nearly build out the remainder of the business park in one swoop.
“It’s a longshot, but definitely more than a fantasy,” Patterson City Manager Rod Butler said Tuesday.
Butler went on to say that city officials have not been in contact with Tesla Motors, though property negotiations of that sort would occur between Tesla and current property owner Jeffrey Arambel.Arambel was contacted for comment Wednesday but wished not to speak on the record as of press time.
While Tesla officials have remained tight lipped regarding the narrowed down locations for their future battery factory, representatives with the company have confirmed that California is in the running for the gigafactory.
“We are not commenting on specific sites or opportunities at this time, however, I can confirm that California is in the running for the gigafactory,” Tesla representative Alexis Georgeson said by email Tuesday. Georgeson referred to an interview conducted by the Sacramento Bee in April with Tesla’s vice president of communications and marketing, Simon Sproule. In that interview Sproule acknowledged that California has “closed the gap” in terms of making itself a viable contender for the gigafactory.
Tesla Motors, founded in 2003, has quickly become a viable automobile company and claims that when the gigafactory is built and fully operational by 2020, the resulting mass production will help drive down costs for the cars and make them more affordable. A base Model S vehicle is currently listed at $69,900.
Elias Funez can be reached at 209-892-6187 ext: 31 or firstname.lastname@example.org.