Tesla selects Nevada for battery plant

Nevada would be the site for a massive, $5-billion factory that would make car batteries for a new generation of less-expensive electric vehicles,  The Associated Press reported today

According to the report, work would soon resume at an industrial park outside Reno. Meanwhile, Nevada still needed to approve a package of incentives Tesla negotiated.

California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico were also in the fray for the project and its estimated 6,500 jobs.

The electric car maker intends to build what it called the "gigafactory" to make cheaper batteries for its Model 3, a mass-market electric car the company hoped to sell by 2017 for around $35,000. The company currently only offered the Model S sedan, which started at $70,000.

Tesla had carried out the site-preparation work at the Reno Tahoe Industrial Center but it did not publicly commit to building in Nevada. According to the person cited earlier, Tesla's plans said a second site would be prepared, in case Nevada was unable to deliver the incentives it had promised.

Meanwhile, a blame game has started over New Mexico losing out to Nevada as a site for Tesla Motors' a battery factory, AP said in another report.

According to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gary King the electric car maker did not select New Mexico because of "a failure of leadership" by Republican governor Susana Martinez, his general election opponent.

Republican representative Monica Youngblood, of Albuquerque, said in a statement that King was trying to "score cheap political points" and his criticisms "completely ignore the state's bipartisan efforts that have allowed us to compete for jobs like those offered by Tesla and other companies."

According to Martinez spokesman Enrique Knell, the state had not heard officially from Tesla. Meanwhile, an announcement had been scheduled for today in Nevada.

King said in a statement "it's not our location or lack of resources" that caused the state to lose out to Nevada. Criticising the Martinez administration's education policies, he added New Mexico needed to better fund schools to produce highly skilled workers necessary for attracting manufacturers like Tesla Motors Inc.

According to Senate Democratic Whip Tim Keller, of Albuquerque, the fact that New Mexico was among the five states under consideration for the plant "illustrates the immense potential our state holds for attracting and keeping innovative industries."