Speaking specifically about the site in Nevada, Musk called out state lawmakers to get a deal done.
“On the Nevada site, at this point, the ball is in the court of the governor and the state Legislature,” he says.
Private and public groups that are negotiating or performing work related to the gigafactory are working under non-disclosure agreements, but after Tesla’s confirmation of work at the site at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada was able to confirm the state is negotiating.
“I am pleased with today’s announcement. Discussions with Tesla are ongoing,” he says.
The Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center has rail access and is less than a four-hour drive from a lithium mine in Silver Peak, Nev., operated by Foote Mineral Co., which is the only operating lithium mine in the U.S. Another company, Western Lithium, has been planning and waiting for a project like Tesla’s. The company says its paused Kings Valley project in Humboldt County holds the fifth-largest known lithium deposit in the world. That site is less than a five-hour drive from the graded site.
The Nevada site is the only location to be publicly confirmed. Although Tesla has said work is either ongoing or will be begin soon at other sites across the Southwest, no other specific locations have been disclosed.
The Arizona Daily Star reported last week that the city of Tucson already has approved permits in what the mayor and council are calling an exhibition of the city’s ability to have a quick and efficient permitting process. Numerous other cities across the region also have performed initial work in the hopes of luring the factory, although less publicly.
Musk says the development of the gigafactory has been handled with the utmost of corporate secrecy because it is necessary.
“People have gotten used to us showing all of our cards. Right now, we are not showing all of our cards,” he says.