SAN ANTONIO -- Texas is just one of several states vying to land a massive factory that would mass produce batteries for luxury electric car maker Tesla. However, some experts now believe the competition has really come down to two cities, Reno and San Antonio.
Ultimately, there's no telling what Tesla will decide, but the city that lands Tesla has the potential to gain 6,500 jobs. Some experts are calling it one of the biggest and most coveted economic development projects in North America.
John Boyd is a principal with the site selection firm The Boyd Company Inc.. He said his firm isn’t working with Tesla, but they’ve helped plenty of corporations find a place to call home. Boyd said his company is closely watching the intense competition between cities hoping to land Tesla’s Gigafactory.
“We have, obviously, sources that we talk to in the industry and in all these markets and I’m pretty comfortable saying Reno and San Antonio look to be the very strong favorites here,” said Boyd.
Boyd and other experts said Texas sized incentives along with no corporate income tax and a solid workforce are just a few reasons why San Antonio stands out. He also points to San Antonio’s proximity to the coast as an advantage if Tesla wants to ship its product globally. And both Texas Democrats and Republicans are staying aggressive. This week governor Rick Perry showed up to the state capital in California in a Tesla, urging the automaker to move to the lone star state.
“You know what I think would make it (Tesla) even prettier is if it had a made in Texas bumper sticker on it,” said Perry.
“If these rumors are correct, that it’s us and Reno that says we’ve got something great going for us,” said San Antonio Chamber of Commerce President.
Perez wouldn’t say much about what he’s hearing among city leaders and talks with Tesla, but said San Antonio is moving in the right direction.
“I will tell you this, our mayor is focused, our economic development team at the economic development foundation is focused, so there’s a lot of momentum behind what we’re doing in San Antonio right now, I’ll leave it at that,” said Perez.
Boyd told Eyewitness News even though he believes San Antonio and Reno, N.V. are the two front runners, he thinks the Alamo City has a better chance than Reno. Although he said he wouldn't be surprised if Tesla opened operations in both cities.