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Arizona's pursuit of Tesla


Tesla announces interest
Tesla says Arizona is one of four states where it is considering building a battery factory that would employ 6,500 people. The plant will supply batteries for a half million vehicles assembled at Tesla's Fremont, California, plant each year.

California was originally left off the list of possible sites for Tesla Motors Inc.'s "gigafactory," but the Golden State has introduced a bill to offer the electric carmaker almost any incentive it might need to build the factory there.

Sen. Ted Gaines, a Republican, and Sen. Darrel Steinberg, a Democrat, announced their bill Thursday.

It aims to get Tesla's $4 billion to $5 billion battery factory and the 6,500 workers it's expected to employ in California.

When Tesla announced the factory in February, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas were its top choices.

When California lawmakers complained about being left off that list, Elon Musk, the CEO of the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company, said he would take another look at the state.

But California was a long shot, he said, because it would take too long to permit the project, and Tesla is on a tight timeline to build the factory because battery production is critical to its business.

California Senate Bill 1309 declares the intent to streamline the regulatory and environmental permitting.

It also aims to level the playing field with the other states competing for the factory, all of which have some combination of friendly tax policies, job training and outright cash grants to land such deals.

"Everything is on the table — tax credits, investment credits, hiring credits," Gaines said in the announcement.

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