It's official; Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) has selected Nevada as the location for its groundbreaking Gigafactory. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval trumpeted the victory in the press release, saying, "Tesla will build the world's largest and most advanced battery factory in Nevada, which means nearly one hundred billion dollars in economic impact to the Silver State over the next twenty years."
Nevada beat California, Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico in the fight to become the home of Tesla's multibillion-dollar planned battery factory. However, Nevada had a handful of things going for it that other states in the running did not.
First, the state boasts a railroad line that connects directly to Tesla's Fremont, California, assembly plant. This will save time and money down the road when Tesla needs to transport hundreds of thousands of heavy batteries from the Gigafactory to its production plant. Additionally, Nevada is one of the only states in the U.S. with active lithium producing mines. This could make it easier for Tesla to source the raw material needed for its lithium-ion battery cells.
There is also the solar factor to consider. After all, Nevada is home to the world's largest solar power plant, and Tesla has said its massive facility will be both solar and wind powered.
Not to mention, the incentives that Nevada is offering Tesla could reportedly total $1.2 billion. Yet as far as incentives go, Nevada didn't offer the richest deal of the five states fighting for the Gigafactory, according to CNBC. However, Nevada was the state that presented the shortest timetable for how quickly Tesla could begin building the facility.
Timing was the No. 1 factor in Tesla's decision
In an interview with CNBC, Tesla Motors Chief Executive Elon Musk explained, "The biggest single factor was time to completion, because unless the Gigafactory is ready when we need to produce the mass market affordable electric car, than the vehicle factory will be stalled."
This Gigafactory progress is a huge win for Nevada and Tesla Motors. The company says its $5 billion Gigafactory will provide as many as 6,500 high-paying jobs in the state of Nevada, and produce enough lithium battery cells by 2020 to power 500,000 electric cars. Moreover, Tesla has agreed to contribute $37.5 million to Nevada K-12 education in 2018, as well as $1 million to the University of Nevada Las Vegas for advance battery research, according to the L.A. Times.
The electric vehicle maker now expects the Gigafactory to be up and running by early 2017 at the latest. And with Tesla having officially broken ground on its Gigafactory site, that timeline appears more achievable than ever.