We've known for a while that Tesla Motors is planning on building a manufacturing plant somewhere in California where it can gnaw on the financial carrots held out to it by the Golden State. Now comes word that San Jose has been chosen to be the home of not only a factory, but an entire corporate campus. The 89-acre site will contain their relocated corporate headquarters and R&D lab as well as the facility where the upcoming all-electric luxury Model S will be lovingly assembled. It is expected to achieve gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) though it is unknown what amount of power generation might be integrated into the site. The price tag for the whole shootin' match is upwards of $250 million dollars and once it's up and running it should employ 1,000 workers.

Tesla says the site was chosen, in part, because of the high concentration of highly-skilled engineers and infrastructure in the area. We also suspect that the waiving of rent for the first 10 years of the 40-year lease on the property probably helped a bit too. With $155 million already on hand, Tesla hopes to raise another $100 million for the project. Work on the site should begin sometime next summer. Press release after the break.

[Source: Tesla Motors / New York Times]

PRESS RELEASE:

Tesla to Produce All-Electric Luxury Sedan in California
Tesla to Assemble All-Electric Model S Luxury Sedan and Build Corporate Campus in Heart of Silicon Valley

Last update: 12:13 p.m. EDT Sept. 17, 2008
SAN JOSE, Calif., Sep 17, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Tesla Motors Inc. plans to build a $250 million facility to manufacture a zero-emission luxury sedan in the heart of Silicon Valley. The nation's leading all-electric car company will also relocate its corporate headquarters and research and development efforts to a consolidated campus in San Jose, Calif.

Tesla President and CEO Ze'ev Drori announced Wednesday that construction on the 89-acre site would begin in the summer of 2009. When fully operational, the facility will employ approximately 1,000 workers.

Tesla selected San Jose in part because the region already enjoys a high concentration of highly skilled engineers and support infrastructure. The factory -- expected to achieve gold certification from U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) -- will be 20 miles from the current headquarters in San Carlos, minimizing inconvenience for more than 250 employees.

"Big deals like this happen when both parties have something significant to gain," said Drori, who praised San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed's 15-year "Green Vision" job-creation initiative. "Locating Tesla's headquarters, manufacturing and R&D in San Jose will allow us to proceed with minimum disruptions and virtually no dislocations."

Model S is Tesla's zero-emission, five-passenger luxury sedan powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. It is expected to have a base price of about $60,000 and get about 240 miles per charge with exceptional performance. The first sedans will likely roll off the assembly line in late 2010.

Tesla's first production vehicle is the Roadster, a zero-emission, all-electric, two-seat sports car. On sale now in the United States and Europe, the Roadster is assembled at a Group Lotus PLC factory in Hethel, U.K. Tesla has no plans to move Roadster production.

Tesla, which has delivered about 30 Roadsters so far, announced last week it was ramping up production amid scorching demand. About 1,200 people have put down deposits to reserve a Roadster.

Tesla also announced recently a string of high-profile hires with deep industry expertise. Executive Vice President Mike Donoughe, who spent 24 years at Chrysler, is overseeing Tesla's Model S and Roadster programs. Chief Financial Officer Deepak Ahuja was formerly controller at Ford. Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen, former director of design for Mazda North America, is designing the Model S.

"Tesla has amazing momentum right now. The excitement within the company is palpable," said Tesla Product Architect and Chairman Elon Musk. "The company has clearly taken production of all-electric vehicles to the next level, and the Model S assembly plant will dramatically accelerate our growth."

About Tesla Motors
Incorporated in 2003 in California's Silicon Valley, Tesla Motors Inc. develops and manufactures electric vehicles with exceptional design, performance and efficiency, while conforming to all US and EU safety, environmental and durability standards. The Roadster is a zero-emission, all-electric two-seater for sale now in the United States and Europe. With a 0-to-60 mph acceleration of 3.9 seconds, a 14,000 rpm redline, and the fastest top-gear acceleration of any production car tested by Car & Driver magazine last year, the Roadster is unique in providing super car performance, zero emissions and extraordinary efficiency. Please visit www.teslamotors.com.


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