US & Canada

Nevada chosen for high-tech Tesla car battery factory

Tesla car Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Tesla says the move will cut battery manufacturing costs

The governor of the US state of Nevada has said that the Tesla electric car maker has chosen his state ahead of rivals for a $5bn battery factory.

Brian Sandoval said the California-based company will use the plant to make cheaper and more efficient batteries for future cars.

Correspondents say the factory will be a key part of Tesla's ambitions of taking on major automobile companies.

The "gigafactory" is predicted to bring nearly $100bn into Nevada's economy.

Mr Sandoval said that he hoped that target could be reached within the next 20 years, simultaneously reducing Tesla's battery costs by 30%.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Wild mustangs can still be seen roaming the hills of Nevada where the $5bn factory will be built
Image copyright AP
Image caption Tesla chief executive and co-founder Elon Musk said that Nevada was chosen because of its "can-do" attitude

Tesla will prepare, provide and manage the land and buildings, while Panasonic will make and supply the lithium-ion battery cells.

The plant is to be located in an industrial park in Storey County, about 25km (15 miles) east of Reno, an area that currently has a population of around 4,000.

Nevada fended off competition from Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and California as the site for the factory, which is expected to create 6,500 jobs with another 16,000 more indirectly.

Mr Sandoval said that the plant will become the "world's largest and most advanced battery factory".

He described the selection of Nevada as a "historic day" for the state.

Tesla chief executive and co-founder Elon Musk said that while Nevada's offer to his company "was not the biggest incentive package", the state had proved it "can do things quickly" and "get things done".

Yoshihiko Yamada of Panasonic said in July that the factory would help the electric vehicle market grow.

Sales of zero-emission electric vehicles currently make up less than 1% of the world's car market.