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Gigafactory 1 passes compliance report; Nevada releases $11.5 milliion tax credits to Tesla

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 7:35
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Nevada’s Executive Director for Economic Development, Steve Hill has confirmed that Tesla has met all requirements within the most recent compliance audit report and will receive $11,567,061 in transferable tax credits.

Rather than handing over the entire $1.3 billion in incentives to Tesla in 2014, Nevada unlocks tax credits to Tesla once the all-electric vehicle and energy systems manufacturer achieves agreed-upon benchmarks of job creation and investments.  The letter of compliance was conducted by Grant Thornton and is a review of third quarter, July 1, 2016 through September 30, 2016.

Pursuant to NRS 360.955 and the Tesla Motors Incentive Agreement (“Agreement”) the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (“Office”) has certified the fourth compliance audit of Tesla Motors, Inc. (“Tesla”)
for the period covering July 1, 2016 through September 30, 2016. The Agreement allows Tesla to report on a period shorter than one fiscal year. As such, the Office has determined all requirements have been met to issue to Tesla transferable tax credits totaling $11,567,061.

The audit assessed the following criteria:

  • job creation totals: over 300 full-time employees
  • percentages of employees who are Nevada residents: 91%
  • Tesla’s total investment

In February, 2017, Storey County Community Development revealed that Tesla surpassed $1 billion in construction costs at the Gigafactory since the project began in 2014. Also in February, Hill revised job creation numbers at Gigafactory 1 to levels 54% higher than originally forecast.

It was also noted in the audit that Panasonic, Tesla’s strategic partner at the Nevada Gigafactory, had employed 50 workers on site in September, 2016, and 990 construction workers, of whom 55% were Nevada residents, were employed during the same time period.

Tesla broke ground on its Gigafactory in June 2014 and, by 2018, expects to reach full capacity and produce more lithium ion batteries annually than were produced worldwide in 2013. The battery cells will be used in the company’s line of energy storage products and the much anticipated Model 3 sedan. The new cell format, 21 millimeters in diameter and 70 millimeters long, provides significant improvements in energy density over the more traditional 18650 cells currently being used on its fleet of vehicles.

Tesla had also met its compliance audit in December 2016, in which 283 employees had been hired at the Gigafactory since the project began in 2014. At that time, 89 percent were Nevada residents and earned an average wage of $53.18 per hour. Panasonic, Tesla’s primary partner in the Gigafactory, had 48 employees on site, of which 92 percent were Nevada residents earning an average wage of $54.89 per hour.

Tesla describes Gigafactory 1’s role in the overall company mission:

In cooperation with Panasonic and other strategic partners, the Gigafactory will produce batteries for significantly less cost using economies of scale, innovative manufacturing, reduction of waste, and the simple optimization of locating most manufacturing process under one roof. We expect to drive down the per kilowatt hour (kWh) cost of our battery pack by more than 30 percent. The Gigafactory will also be powered by renewable energy sources, with the goal of achieving net zero energy.

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