Tesla to build autos in Texas?
How's this for a trade: 6,500 manufacturing jobs and an investment of more than $4 billion in exchange for the right to sell cars in a particular state.Tesla's are at best a rich man's toy for limited range transportation. For most people it is not something they can afford and if they could they would not want to be so limited on where they could take it and refuel. So, I am dubious that they will be able to market large enough to need this big a plant. But, if Tesla wants to make such an investment in Texas, I am all for it.
That's one of the intriguing story lines surrounding the decision of where Tesla Motors will locate a massive Gigafactory for producing lithium-ion batteries and electric storage applications.
Texas is one of four states named as a finalist for the massive plant, along with Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico.
So why is Texas such an intriguing candidate?
It all stems from the contentious relationship Texas lawmakers have had with Tesla in keeping the electric car maker from selling cars in that state.
Until now, there has been little reason to believe Texas' ban on direct auto sales would be lifted, but the Gigafactory could change that assumption.
The Tesla Gigafactory, wherever it's located, will provide a huge boost to the local and state economies.
There are few major manufacturing plants that bring in two or three thousand jobs, let alone one that would create 6,500 jobs.
All together the new battery facility will cost between $4 and $5 billion, with Tesla investing $2 billion of its own money into the project.
Those are the kind of economic figures that are likely to make political and business leaders in Texas work hard to convince Tesla to build the Gigafactory in their state.
And what could they offer Tesla as an incentive to pick Texas?
Tax breaks? Sure
Infrastructure investments? Good idea.
The right to sell Tesla vehicles in Texas? Now you're talking.
And there's the rub. Texas lawmakers will be hesitant to reverse the state's ban on vehicle sales that don't go through auto dealer