A new Red River battle is brewing between Texas and Oklahoma and California-based EV maker Tesla Inc. is going to be the winner.
The two sides are working hard to lure the automaker to build its next U.S. Gigafactory in their state with Travis County, Texas offering more than $80 million in various incentives to get Tesla to build on a 136-acre site on the east side of the county.
The county commission just approved a $14 million package of incentives that will be paired with $68 million in property tax rebates tied to the local school district. Tesla’s 80% rebate from the county on its property taxes is for 10 years. It also asked for a 65% rebate for the next 10 years after that.
The $1.1 billion plant is expected to employ more than 5,000 workers, and construction on the 5 million square-foot facility is expected to start in the fourth quarter of this year.
The new plant will build Cybertruck and potentially the Model Y, Musk said a few months ago. He also noted that the plant, which is expected to be larger than the Gigafactory in Reno, Nevada. Musk also implied earlier that the Tesla Semi truck could be built there as well.
Tulsa, Oklahoma is the other – perceived – candidate to land the new Gigafactory is releasing any details of it its incentive package. However, Tesla CEO Elon Musk flew into the city July 3, according to media reports, to meet with local and state officials to look at the property and talk turkey. However, state officials have said their offer is competitive with Texas and better in some areas.
One might think that Texas has an edge because in the past Musk has threatened shut down Tesla’s California operations and move to the Lone Star State; however, if he has a preference, he’s not shared it publicly — and definitely not on Twitter, his favorite method of communication.
The electric carmaker only has a single U.S. vehicle manufacturing plant in Fremont California and that plant is bursting at the seams with Model S, X, 3 and now Y production. Additionally, the company is looking to add new battery operations to the site.
While the two locales are seemingly pitted against each other, is it possible they could both be sites for future Gigafactories?
During a conference call at the end of April, Musk noted that more Gigafactories would be coming, joining the existing sites in the U.S., China and Germany. “I don’t know right now what that number will be. I guess several more than there are today, but I’m not sure,” he said at the time.
Those additional plants are going to be needed if Musk plans to meet his previously stated goal of 50% compound growth annually, which would result in 4 million Tesla vehicles being built in 2025 with an escalating number from there. Musk admitted it’s a lofty goal, but he wouldn’t back down from it under just about any circumstance.