Pinal County Competes For Tesla Car Battery Factory

April 04, 2014

Pinal County has identified some proposed sites for a $5 billion battery factory for the Tesla electric car company. Pinal and the city of Casa Grande are competing with Maricopa and Pima counties for the plant. Tesla officials said Arizona, Texas, Nevada and New Mexico are finalists for the factory that will employ 6,500 people.

Richard Wilkie is Casa Grande’s economic development manager. He is working with Pinal County to promote three sites. Each is near Interstate 10, Interstate 8 and rail lines. Wilkie said Tesla could find plenty of workers, some of whom could commute from Tucson and Phoenix.

“Within 30 minutes we have a population of 500,000 that we have access to. Within 45 minutes we have over 1 million," Wilkie said. "It’s an easy drive to get down here so drawing from that workforce for these kinds of jobs for this type of a project shouldn’t be a problem."

He added this is not a territorial battle between the three counties. He is just happy Arizona is in the running for the plant that will produce 500,000 lithium-ion batteries a year for its cars.