Nevada pulls ahead in Tesla race

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The five state race to land Tesla’s $5 billion Gigafactory and the thousands of jobs that go along with it is not over, but there’s now a clear front-runner and it’s not New Mexico.

Tesla announced in its shareholder letter Thursday that it broke ground on a potential site for the battery plant at a site outside of Reno, NV in June.

“[We’ve] essentially completed the pad, the construction pad for the Gigafactory in Nevada,” said Tesla CEO Elon Musk during a conference call.

However, Musk maintains the company plans on doing the same thing in one or two more states.

Right now, Arizona, Texas, California and New Mexico are all fighting to lure the Gigafactory to their state and the competition has been fierce.

Tucson recently sent Tesla an approved construction permit even though the company hadn’t applied for one.

Don’t count New Mexico out yet.

In a statement, New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela says the state was in discussions with “high-ranking officials” from Tesla as recently as this week. Barela describes Reno’s selection as a possible site as not surprising given how close it is to Tesla’s California headquarters, but says the state is still putting up a fight.

“Tesla remains a prized economic development target and we are still very much in the game,” Barela said.

As for Nevada, Musk says the ball is in the court of the state legislature and governor when to comes to passing the incentives package needed to lure the company there.

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