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California legislators are considering easing permitting regulations to entice Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) to open a $5 billion battery “gigafactory” in the state. Separately, New Jersey legislators have filed a bill that would allow the company to continue with its electric car direct sales model.
NJ Lawmakers enticing Tesla
Three lawmakers in New Jersey are proposing the bill by which Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) will be able to sell directly to customers, a reversal from the current law where Tesla was banned from direct sales. If the bill goes through, then Tesla will be able to open four company stores in the Garden State.
In California, Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg and Senator Ted Gaines presented a bill demanding some speedy changes in the state’s regulation and environmental processes to expedite approval of large projects.
According to Gaines and Mark Hedlund, a spokesman for Steinberg, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is also considering former Mather Air Force base near Sacramento, which was shut down in 1993, as a possible site for the gigafactory. Gaines said in an interview that it is vital that Tesla sets up its gigafactory in the state “where innovation started.”
Lou Greenwald, a Voorhees Democrat and majority leader of the assembly, said that Tesla’s commitment to job creation, innovation and customer satisfaction is the kind of entrepreneurial spirit that needs encouragement.
“Speed to execution has always been key to this project,” Diarmuid O’Connell, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s vice president of business development, said in a telephone interview to Business Insider. The executive added that any effort that increases the ability of the company to start building the factory is a good thing.
Massive job opportunity
In February, the Palo Alto based electronic car manufacturer stated plans to set up a massive factory to make low-cost lithium-ion cells for its cars and battery packs for home power storage devices. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk said that the excessive time taken in California to clear stringent environmental review is one reason the company has not considered the state for setting up the plant. In May, however, Musk announced that California is being reconsidered.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) gigafactory is expecting to produce at least 6,500 jobs, which is vital for California, as the state has lost many manufacturing jobs to states with lower taxes and fewer regulations. The electronic car manufacturer is weighing other states such in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas for the gigafactory, which should begin operation by 2017.