Announcements of businesses leaving regulation-happy and costly California or declining to do business in California are as common here in the Golden State as seeing a Prius blocking the left lane on the 405. This move is a bit of a surprise as California-based Tesla Motors said this morning that they have eliminated the state as a possible site for their $5-billion dollar battery factory, meaning only Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada remain in the running.
It was only two weeks ago that the electric automaker announced plans to build the 500 to 1,000-acre site designed to produce up to 500,000 batteries per year and employ up to 6,500 workers to support the launch of upcoming models. The Los Angeles Times says the California governor’s office is not commenting but you can be sure there are some embarrassed bureaucrats in Sacramento when they learned today that the sites they proposed to Tesla were the first to be rejected. Tesla is also mum as to why California was rejected as of this writing.
Besides California being Tesla’s number one state for car sales, the company employees over 6,000 workers at their Fremont factory, their Palo Alto headquarters and their Southern California design studio.
This begs the question: will Tesla possibly bargain with Texas to change their franchise laws to allow them to open traditional dealerships in exchange for the battery factory?