Tesla Motors eyes Texas and New Mexico

Published: Mar. 6, 2014 at 6:38 PM CST
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Amarillo, TX - Texas or New Mexico could be the new home of a Tesla Motors factory.

Tesla plans on building a $4 to $5 billion lithium ion battery plant, which would employ thousands of people.

Texas and New Mexico are location finalists along with Nevada and Arizona. The company said it's looking for a place where it can utilize wind and solar energy.

The Amarillo EDC said they are in contact with Tesla. If Tesla does decide to bring part of its business to Texas, local economist Neil Meredith said the Panhandle area could a be a contender. "I mean, if they want to use wind energy, this is the place to come in Texas for sure. We definitely have our share of breezy days. So I would anticipate if they are really serious about having a lot of wind energy, then they would probably want to be out here."

Tesla said the plant will create 6,500 jobs. "We have about 200,000 people in Amarillo. If you increase the number of jobs by 6,500, that's a roughly three percent increase," said Meredith. "That would increase local activity such as restaurants, local retailers, those sorts of things. People have to spend their money somewhere so you would expect that to have a noticeable impact."

Tesla has not announced when it will make its final decision on the factory's location. Right now the company is looking into the different incentives to build in each of the four states. One incentive to come to Texas is that there is no corporate income tax.

Madison Alewel - NewsChannel 10