The state of California is scrambling as one of its beloved startups is looking to open a new Gigafactory battery manufacturing complex and announced that its home state wasn’t on the short list. Instead, Tesla Motors was very upfront that the contenders for the facility were Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. To lure the automaker to reconsider locating the factory in the Golden State, California reportedly has even offered to relax many of its notoriously stringent regulations.
That offer could involve waiving different environmental rules for Tesla, making the process of constructing the factory less of a headache, says the Los Angeles Times. According to the newspaper, the governor is going through negotiations with Tesla, which includes exempting the company from some portions of the California Environmental Quality Act. The idea is that by simplifying the process, Tesla will be able to construct the Gigafactory quickly. Considering that the car company is in serious need of more batteries, time is of the essence and will likely be one of the top considerations when a site is ultimately selected.
Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk went so far as to say that until the Gigafactory is fully operational (as Emperor Palpatine would say) the future Model III will not be able to roll forward. The smaller and more affordable model has been predicted to help the automaker turn a corner as it would appeal to a much wider group of consumers who currently cannot afford the Model S and certainly won’t be plunking down the cash for a Model X.
To help sweeten the deal even more, the Times reports that the state government in California has also promised tax breaks to the tune of $500 million. Whether the car company will go for it or not remains to be seen. Right now, it has two sites cleared and prepared for immediate construction, indicating that a decision will come down in the near future, and neither of those sites is situated in California.