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Tesla selects Nevada for battery plant (yahoo.com)
190 points by velodrome on Sept 3, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 57 comments

This isn't a spam post (I've been on HN for 4+ years and have good karma, see my profile)...

But for those who want to keep up with Tesla in a simple and easy way, I recently started a weekly email newsletter (http://teslaweekly.com) that highlights the most notable Tesla news along with additional commentary. You can see the 1st edition at http://teslaweekly.com/issues/1 .

Thanks. I subscribed :).

As a HN regular (judging by your stats) you should already know that we don't mind little self-promotion if it is honest, tactful and relevant. After all, we all here want to discover useful stuff, and lots of people who frequent this site build things.

Looks nice. But the centered text is bad for a steady reading.

Thanks for the feedback. I'm using the new http://curated.co platform for email newsletters, and while it's quite good in many areas I do hope they fix the centered text issue (I've sent them feedback on this already).

Good luck keeping your domain, as it would seems it is trademark infringing.

Author seems to be well-meaning, so I hope that... no, I expect Tesla to play nice with him. It would be a really sad thing if they litigated.

There are only dozens of examples of things like Classic Ford magazine already...

Well, well, if it isn't DaveT. Um, yes, this is a spam post. :-)

Oh well, I thought people might appreciate the info. But I understand.

Most people here don't seem to mind a little self-promotion as long as it is at least on-topic and, better, actually useful or interesting.

Also I don't think it's the best idea to suggest your product might be spam when trying to market it :) Teslaweekly is relevant and I haven't seen it plastered on every tesla story on HN. Doesn't seem spammy to me at all.

Yeah I realized afterward that I shouldn't have said "this is not spam." I think I just wanted to pre-empt people from assuming that I was a HN newbie pushing spam and direct them to check out my HN profile/karma/past posts.

I for one, am glad you posted about your newsletter. You've got plenty of goodwill here.

I'm glad to see they've finally made a decision. Harry Reid had expressed some concern [1] that Musk might have been playing Nevada with no real intention of building the Gigafactory there, so it's all well that it panned out.

On an unrelated note, for anyone interested in tracking Tesla's supercharger progress, they have a map of current and planned stations across the three continents they've expanded into. [2] I enjoy checking it occasionally to see how much progress they've made.

[1] http://www.businessinsider.com/harry-reid-elon-musk-might-be... [2] http://www.teslamotors.com/supercharger

I thought Reid might have been on to something when he said that. I'm glad that Tesla seems to be shooting straight, for now anyway.

Playing? How?

Playing a state, in this context, would be securing regulatory concessions and tax incentives from Nevada without any intention of building a factory there. Those concessions could then be used as bargaining chips in the state in which they intended to build the plant.

It costs Nevada nothing if they don't actually build there. That's just negotiation.

Basically, it's as close to California's engineering center as possible without having to deal with the expensive manufacturing environment that is California. Plus a huge incentive. Nice work, Tesla.

The part about proximity to lithium & renewable energy is just PR fluff... but it can make you feel good when you are paying a few hundred dollars less for your car.

From the article:

>At present, demand for electric vehicles is small. Through August, automakers have sold just over 40,000 fully electric cars this year, up 35 percent from a year ago.....

At present, the supply of the electrical vehicles is low, and Tesla for one cannot keep up with the demand - as evidenced by the 5-month waiting list for a new Tesla model S. The new factory will drastically increase the supply, and we can expect the demand to grow further as the prices for electrical vehicles are reduced.

"Tesla has said it would need about 10 million square feet"

Wow, that's big! Reno always made sense - structurally cheaper than CA, but closer to the Fremont factory than even Los Angeles.

Also, I hate business tax incentives, but $500M for a $5B factory + 6500 jobs is not terrible.

It's hell in winter to get to Reno via 80 though. The highway can close a lot.

I'm not sure about the rail lines, but I can imagine a lot of delays in infrastructure in winter either way. At least for a Fremont-LA line, you won't hit those snags in winter.

I would joke about adding a hyperloop between Reno and the Bay Area :-) Actually rail is pretty reliable through there, more so than the highway.

I know here in Canada rail is far more reliable in winter than highway. Raised rail lines tend to stay clear of snow build up. Snow on the rails isn't a big issue, its more the build up that bottoms out the train.

I doubt these will be being shipped by truck given the quantities we're dealing with. I also would not doubt an improvement in the infrastructure for a corporation bringing 6500 jobs and $5bn into the economy.

The rails along that route (encompassing Donner Pass) are better than raised, they're roofed. It was brutal work, part of the original transcontinental line.

There's a really cool snowblower train that plies Donner Pass between Sacramento and Reno:


"Cool" is the word to describe it, especially in the middle of all that snow.

There's an example of that kind of rail-clearing engine in Skagway, Alaska. I saw it there just over a month ago. That snow machine isn't used anymore--an historic museum piece on exhibit--but close up it is impressive.

Maybe they'll finally start running Capitol Corridor trains to Reno? That would be lovely in the winter for heading up to Tahoe for skiing...

I-80 is hell in winter seemingly everywhere. In south eastern Wyoming there are permanent gates in many spots, so they can just swing the gate shut and close the interstate. That's how often it closes up there.

If it's really urgent, I'm sure Tesla could commandeer Musk's Dassault Falcon 900.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Did someone find out about this early? At around 4pm, there was a momentary ~$8 stock in the price of TSLA in after-hours trading.


The uptick occured at 4:14pm ET, which is exactly when the news was first published at http://www.autonews.com/article/20140903/OEM05/140909950/tes... (Automotive News were the first ones to learn about it and published the article at 4:13pm).

Either someone's really fast, or I'm guessing this is autotraders that pick up on keywords.

Most hedge funds these days use tools to trawl news and social media sites so they can react quicker to news. I'm sure old school investment firms aren't far behind.

It's hardly most hedge funds that do this. But there are a few that do, and since price is determined on the margin, it only takes a few to move the price.

Check out the jump that happened on Western Lithium USA stock: http://imgur.com/XKV4paM

This was most likely a missed trade from earlier in the day that was recorded after the trading day closed.

It was leaked the day before.

Worth pointing out that at least two of the competitors against Nevada, Arizona and Texas, have laws on the books prohibiting direct sales (as opposed to going through a dealership). I'm sure that was a factor.

Tesla could have used the factory as a leverage to remove those laws.

I think they tried with Arizona. As far as I know, it didn't happen.

Nevada and Lithium:


If the goal is to reduce the cost of production, nevada has a terrific 'local' source of lithium, which probably counted for something.

Cheap geothermal and solar power. No state income tax. Close proximity to aerospace and defense employees and vendors. Reasonably close to Tesla. And, yes, close to major lithium deposits.

And, to remind everyone, Musk actually called various mining operations directly and secured some very good deals.

Super news for Nevada! This is a state that really needs some jobs outside of the casino industry.

Agreed! I'm a native Nevadan that left Reno for tech. But my parents definitely need jobs :).

For those interested, there will be a live stream announcement from Gov Sandoval at 4PM PST http://gov.nv.gov/

I wonder if this will do anything to help turn Reno into more of a tech employment center in its own right.

It already is! Reno has changed quite a bit over the past few years. There are more and more small tech companies springing up.

no individual or income taxes, how much did that weigh in the decision, or did Harry Reid weigh in?

Apple also received/is receiving additional incentives [1] for their new iCloud data centers which are being built near where Tesla is planning to put the gigafactory (the plot of land is already graded for the factory).

For those interested, Katie Fehrenbacher from Gigaom did some great coverage last month of what is happening out here RE: Tesla and Apple.[2]

1. http://www.areadevelopment.com/newsItems/8-3-2012/apple-iclo... 2. http://gigaom.com/2014/08/10/the-changing-face-of-reno-why-t...

They broke ground on the gigafactory's pit and foundation a few months back.

It didn't weigh in at all most likely (as Tesla is based in California, they're not afraid of having employees pay state income tax). If you read the article you'll find out what did weigh the decision:

> Based on Musk's public statements of what he expects a winning bid would be worth, the incentive package likely will total at least $500 million.

Which is requiring a special bill going through the NV legislature, as that level of incentive is passed the caps that are currently in place.

Benefits for the employees don't matter nearly as much as benefits for the business. The business doesn't gain from lower income taxes, unless it pays its employees less, but then there's no benefit to the employees, plus they take a pre-tax wage cut which isn't much of a feel good factor.

Employees will still have Federal income taxes at something around 25% depending on salary.

Your logic is flawed: (1) Businesses and employees can split the benefits of lower income taxes and both be better off (both in theory and in practice it is never an all or nothing choice). (2) Hopefully employees are not so stupid to care about the "feel good" of greater pre-tax income they will never see. (3) Lastly, lower salarys because of lower state taxes will also mean lower federal taxes because of progressive design federal tax rates.

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