California Governator and (soon-to-be) Tesla Roadster owner, Arnold Schwarzenegger, addressed the seething throngs of media types at Tesla's San Carlos, California facility. The topics of conversation centered on new incentives for Tesla to continue its production of vehicles in the Golden State, specifically the start-up's second vehicle, codenamed the Model S, which according to Tesla, get 225 miles on a single charge and cost $60,000. Tesla did not officially announce when the new model would go on sale, nor would it say where in California the "multi-use sport sedan" would be produced.
The incentive for Tesla to remain in California, rather than move production of the sedan to New Mexico (discussed last year), is part of the CAEATFA program that was approved last Wednesday. The initiative exempts automakers from paying sales and use tax when they purchase manufacturing equipment to build electric vehicles. That's expected to save automakers – and Tesla specifically – millions of dollars when the company invests in building a new plant in California. A Schwarzenegger press conference wouldn't be complete without a lame quote from his erstwhile movie career, and the Governor didn't let us down, saying that he was disappointed by the initial announcement that Tesla was considering a manufacturing center in New Mexico, but that "They'll be back." And they are.