Tesla’s Uneven Progress At The Gigafactory
The Tesla Gigafactory under construction

The Tesla Gigafactory under construction

The Reno Gazette-Journal checks in for an update on the battery megafactory, and the results are mixed to date:

The Tesla-Panasonic battery gigafactory is falling far short of the economic impact projections on jobs and capital investment used to persuade lawmakers to approve a record-breaking tax incentive package for the project, according to an analysis by the Reno Gazette-Journal.

According to the review of available public documents, the project has generated just a fraction of the jobs, payroll and capital investment projected for the first year in a study commissioned by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development during the 2014 special session.

The numbers also have not kept up with the more refined projections used by Tesla in its application for incentives that will allow the company to operate tax free for a decade and with substantially reduced taxes for a second decade.

Nevada leaders don’t sound worried because the tax benefits go away if certain benchmarks aren’t met. And the factory is already starting to produce home batteries for stationary energy storage.

At this point, it’s probably not a cause for concern, although it may be an indication that construction isn’t where Tesla hoped to be at this point.

Long term, the real value in the Gigafactory for the Reno area is not in construction jobs, but in the higher-paid engineering and other high-skilled jobs that will be located on-site, plus all the supply and service industries that will spring up as a result nearby.

At least Nevada leaders hope that’s the case, given the tax breaks they gave Tesla to lure them there in the first place.


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