The Shortlist of Cali Cities for Tesla Factory

Ever since California Governor Schwarzenegger enticed Tesla to move its factory plans away from New Mexico and back to California, we’ve been waiting to hear which lucky Northern California city will get the pop of hundreds of green jobs and the claim to fame. Here’s the short list that Tesla is mulling over, according to the San Jose Mercury this morning: San Jose, South San Francisco and Vacaville.

For these cities, snagging the factory where Tesla plans to assemble up to 20,000 Model S electric sedans per year is a big deal. San Jose’s chief development officer Paul Krutko says the construction of the factory alone would deliver 600 jobs and $40 million in wages. The factory could then employ another 1,000 workers ongoing.

So that means the cities could very well be offering Tesla even more incentives to win its business. San Jose has offered solar companies various financial deals, though the Merc reports that San Jose city officials would only say that their offer to Tesla was “compelling” and “competitive.”

Already the state is providing incentives like a newly approved program that exempts green car builders from paying sales tax and use tax on the purchase of manufacturing equipment, and a grant program for training employees. The equipment incentives could save Tesla as much as $9 million. The cities are likely ponying up their own valuable plans to compete for what is ultimately the most valuable thing that Tesla can bring to a city — green buzzfactor.

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