After months of waiting and speculation, word is out that the much-anticipated Tesla Gigafactory has finally broken ground in Reno, Nevada. Nevada governor Brian Sandoval and Tesla CEO Elon Musk are slated to make an official announcement today, and a source in the governor’s office has told CNBC that the Gigafactory is “a go, but they are still negotiating the specifics of the contract.” Reno has long been considered the front-runner in the Gigafactory race, and the company confirmed last month that it has cleared land in Reno for the factory, adding fuel to the speculation fire.
Tesla has been considering five states to be the home of the Gigafactory, which will eventually produce 500,000 battery packs a year. While Nevada has been considered the top contender, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and California have also been fighting for the prize. In fact, California only entered the bidding after offering to consider incentives to keep Tesla production in-state. Unfortunately, lawmakers ultimately failed to act on the measure.
The factory should add about 6,500 jobs and cost around $4-5 billion dollars to build, 10% of which will need to come from the winning state. Nevada has been eager to move away from its gambling-centric economy and winning the Gigafactory would be a major coup for the state even given the $500 million investment that it would need to make.
Once everything is up and running, Tesla will be producing more American-made cars than Ford and it will enable the company to finally get going on its lower-priced Tesla 3, which Musk announced on Twitter he couldn’t begin producing until the Gigafactory was in place. Until tomorrow’s official announcement, it’s all just speculation, but given the amount of sleuthing that Tesla fans have been doing, we’d say that, for once, Reno is a pretty safe bet.