Tesla Motors to Build Electric Car Facility in New Mexico

February 23, 2007

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson announced on February 19 that Tesla Motors will build an electric car assembly plant in Albuquerque. The facility is expected to provide 400 new jobs and a total capital investment of $35 million.

Tesla Motors will use the plant to produce its WhiteStar car — a four-door, five-passenger sports sedan that is 100 percent electric. The first cars are expected to roll off the assembly line in the fall of 2009, and the company is aiming to produce 10,000 cars each year. The vehicles will cost $50,000 for the standard model or $65,000 for a premium model with greater performance and range.

Construction on the 150,000-square-foot plant is slated to begin by April 2007. It will be the company's first assembly facility in the United States. The plant will be built on the west side of Albuquerque, at Cordera Mesa. The 400 new jobs will pay between $24,000 and $100,000 a year, plus benefits and stock options.

The car company will receive several incentives from the state, including a high wage job tax credit, a manufacturer's investment tax credit, and assistance from the Job Training Incentive Program. In addition, Richardson has committed $3.5 million in capital outlay from the 2007 legislative session, and another $3.5 million in capital outlay from the 2008 legislative session. These funds will go to Bernalillo County and be used for building and infrastructure investment related to the facility.

The state's Economic Development Department worked closely with the Albuquerque Economic Development Department and the New Mexico Economic Development Partnership to close the deal. The city of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County have agreed to assist with development of infrastructure at the site.

Tesla Motors is a private company, formed in 2003, and is based in San Carlos, California. The company employs more than 160 people at design, engineering, and manufacturing facilities in California, Michigan, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.

Production of Tesla Motors' first vehicle is expected to begin at a facility in England, owned by Lotus Cars, later this year. That vehicle will be a zero-emission, two-seat roadster. The company also recently opened an R&D facility in Rochester Hills, Michigan, where it will focus on design and engineering for the WhiteStar.

For more information, see the governor's February 19 press release.