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Tesla keeps suitors guessing about battery factory site – SFGate

With four states vying to host Tesla Motors’ planned $5 billion battery factory, no one has yet to emerge as the likely winner.

No one except Tesla, that is.

The states named by Tesla as the four top candidates for the factory – Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas – are scrambling to entice the maker of electric cars any way they can.

In Arizona and Texas, for example, politicians have proposed changing state laws that block Tesla from selling cars directly to the public. That’s a big issue for the Palo Alto company because traditional franchise auto dealers across the country have challenged Tesla’s direct-sales model.

But analysts doubt the company will base its ultimate decision on politics.

“Tesla is going to choose the state on merits,” said Ben Kallo, a senior analyst with the Richard W. Baird & Co. private-equity firm. “Whether or not they can get Texas to flip and change the way they let Tesla operate in the state, that’s helpful. But I don’t think that’s the main thing they’re looking at.”



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