Tesla is leaning toward Austin, Texas, as the site for its second United States car factory, according to a Bloomberg report published Tuesday.
Both Austin and Tulsa, Oklahoma, are considered finalists for the massive “Terafactory”, which will build the Cybertruck pickup truck and Model Y crossover. Tesla is asking Austin officials for a tax deal as a condition of locating the factory there.
The company filed an application with a school district in Travis County (of which Austin is the county seat) seeking tax abatement, Bloomberg reported, citing publicly filed documents.
The filing stated that Tesla is eyeing a 2,100-acre site currently being used as a ready mix concrete facility. Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted Thursday that the company has an option to purchase this land, but has not exercised it.
Tesla said eight states were initially identified as contenders and that it has received incentive package offers, without giving specifics. The company also said Oklahoma is still in contention for the factory
Tesla Model Y
A potential tax abatement from the Del Valle Independent School District will be a major factor in the decision, Tesla said in the filing. That’s because of the relatively high level of taxes in Texas compared to other states, the company said.
Tesla could get its tax abatement through a state program that allows school districts to grant breaks to economic development projects, with the state covering the difference, according to Bloomberg. However, the report noted that the program has been criticized for incentivizing companies that were coming to Texas anyway.
Meanwhile the Cybertruck has taken form—and Musk has revealed that it won’t be downsized from its concept form. Tesla plans to start deliveries of at least one version in late 2021.
All Tesla electric cars for the U.S. market are still built at the company’s Fremont, California, factory. Together with Panasonic, Tesla also operates the massive Nevada Gigafactory for battery production. Some Chinese-market cars are built at a factory in Shanghai, which opened late last year.
Tesla has said that any future facility would have battery production and vehicle assembly together, as is planned for the company’s “Giga Berlin”—which might explain why Tesla and Panasonic still haven’t detailed if and when a Nevada Gigafactory expansion might be made.