UPDATE: 2:34 7/31/14
DETROIT (AP) — Electric car maker Tesla Motors says it is preparing a site near Reno, Nevada, as a possible location for its new battery factory, but is still evaluating other locations.
In a statement, Tesla says it broke ground on the Nevada site in June, and adds that it will decide on the final location for the $5 billion factory in the next few months.
California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas are also in the running for the factory. Competition is intense for the plant, which Tesla says could employ 6,500 people by 2020. Tesla wants the factory to supply batteries for its Model 3 electric car, which is set to go on sale in 2017.
Earlier Thursday, Tesla and Panasonic Corp. announced that they will collaborate on the battery factory.
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RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- In a recent report, Tesla confirmed the company has been building in the Reno area since June for a potential Gigafactory location.
"In June, we broke ground just outside Reno, Nevada on a site that could potentially be the location for the Gigafactory. Consistent with our strategy to identify and break ground on multiple sites, we continue to evaluate other locations in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas," said Tesla Motors. "The final site for the first Gigafactory will be determined in the next few months, once we have full visibility and agreement on the relevant incentives and processes for enabling the Gigafactory to be fully operational to meet the timing for Model 3."
Earlier Thursday, Panasonic and Tesla entered into a formal agreement to partner on the Gigafactory. Panasonic will invest in production equipment that it will use to manufacture and supply Tesla with battery cells. Tesla will prepare and provide the land, buildings and utilities for the Gigafactory, invest in production equipment for battery module and pack production, and be responsible for the overall management of the Gigafactory.
Additional Gigafactory partners for production of cell precursor materials will be announced in the coming months to create a fully integrated industrial complex, according to the report.