Texas Business
4:16 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Dallas Lawmaker Makes Play To Land Tesla "Gigafactory"

Despite some setbacks last legislative session, state Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, is hoping to persuade the owner of Tesla Motors to come to Texas for another business endeavor. While it might not be as sexy as being able to sell the luxury electric car, people need batteries to make them run.

Last legislative session, Tesla Motors owner Elon Musk was regularly seen around the state capitol trying to convince state lawmakers and the Texas Automotive Dealers Association to allow him to sell his $90,000 electric cars in Texas.

That did not happen, but now that Musk is looking for a new place to manufacture the lithium-ion batteries that make the cars run, Texas finds itself one of four states being considered for a 6,500-job facility -- the others being Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada.

As soon as this news was made public, Villalba wrote Musk a letter.

"We wanted to make sure that he understood that Texas provided the best economic ecosystem for a company to Tesla Motors to move to," Villalba said.

The factory doesn’t change the fact that Tesla cannot sell its cars off the lot, but providing the state with more jobs certainly might gain some favor.

"They’re hopeful that going forward they will be able to sell more automobiles, they’ll be able to sell more EVs in Texas and this could help, I think, in their argument that they are dedicated to our state," Villalba said.

Villalba said ultimately he’d like to see Musk build his lithium-ion battery "Gigafactory" near the Dallas area.