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California In the Running For Tesla Gigafactory

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the if-you-build-it dept.

Businesses 172

An anonymous reader writes Thanks to some clean-energy tax incentives approved late this spring, California appears to be in the running again for Tesla's "Gigafactory". From the article: "The decision should have been made by now, and ground broken, according to the company's timeline, but is on hold, allowing California, which was not in the race initially — CEO Elon Musk has called California an improbable choice, citing regulations — to throw its hat in the ring. 'In terms of viability, California has progressed. Now it's a four-plus-one race,' said Simon Sproule, Tesla's vice president of global communication and marketing, referring to the four named finalists — Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada — for the prize. That's heartening. Having the Gigafactory would be a vindication of Gov. Jerry Brown's drive to make California the home of advanced manufacturing, of which Tesla's battery technology is a prime example. With its technology, 'Tesla may be in position to disrupt industries well beyond the realm of traditional auto manufacturing. It's not just cars,' a Morgan Stanley analyst told Quartz, an online business publication last year.

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One billion cars (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47499471)

Wow, this factory will produce 1 billion cars. That is pretty darn impressive if you ask me.

Re:One billion cars (-1, Flamebait)

alex67500 (1609333) | about 4 months ago | (#47499833)

Or GW batteries? That would make their cars a little more competitive on range! (Hopefully they can reduce their flamability though... ;-)

Texas? (4, Insightful)

cdrudge (68377) | about 4 months ago | (#47499523)

Why the hell is Texas in the running? I mean, it makes perfect sense to reward a state that makes it as difficult as possible [teslamotors.com] to sell a vehicle with Tesla's sales model.

Re:Texas? (5, Insightful)

necro81 (917438) | about 4 months ago | (#47499543)

I mean, it makes perfect sense to reward a state that makes it as difficult as possible to sell a vehicle with Tesla's sales model.

It makes perfect (business) sense to locate it in a state with depressed wages, huge amounts of available land, little-to-no zoning restrictions, lax environmental regulations, and politicians that are at least a buy-able as the rest. Hell, if it's good enough for the oil and gas industry...

Texas! (4, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | about 4 months ago | (#47499645)

It makes perfect (business) sense to locate it in a state with reasonable wages not drive up by unreasonable taxes and regulations, huge amounts of available land, common sense zoning restrictions, reasonable environmental regulations, and politicians that are actually interested in your business becoming a success . It's what's made the oil/gas/information services/computer/auto/semiconductor/etc. industry successful so far.

Re:Texas! (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 4 months ago | (#47499967)

Texas! A model for the rest of the world. Well, except for the patent trolling Marshall, TX. It's our "asshole" of the state.

Re:Texas! (0)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 4 months ago | (#47500555)

You Texans really need to invade Marshall. Kill everyone and then make it a Ghost Town.

Re:Texas! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47501019)

Or just send in one Texas Ranger to clean it up

Re:Texas! (3, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 4 months ago | (#47500173)

Yep.

The over regulation and high taxes in CA are the killer for any business possibilities there. Large companies are leaving California due the the bad fiscal management out there and overbearing govt restrictions on businesses out there.

You'd think at some point, sensible folks would see this and do something to curtail the problem, but when you let political philosophy outweigh what common sense should present to the current vision, you get much of what you see in CA, and more recently in the entire Federal admin overall.

Sadly, some seem to hold their philosophical vision over and above solutions that could fix things at ALL costs. Some folks wold rather fail by breaking, rather than to bend and survive.

Re:Texas! (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 4 months ago | (#47501323)

Their attempt to be more like a federal government than a state with respect to regulation and taxes is like a thousand mile-wide thumb pushing down on the state, forcing fierocious winds out in all directions. Businesses in the state are blown out, and businesses outside are met by a storm wind they have to struggle against to get in.

This is why their politicians have to grant huge tax breaks -- not only for direct competition but also to pay for (pay back) the inevitable reulatory burden they themselves ladle atop the companies.

Re:Texas! (4, Insightful)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | about 4 months ago | (#47500417)

What made the oil industry successful is oil. Whatever regulations or non-regulations you want to give, if there's no oil, there's no oil industry.

It can be argued that silicon valley grew because of California University school system. A good chunk of which is publicly funded. Remember Sun stood for Stanford Univeristy Network. Google started at Stanford. A good chunk of Apple Mac OSX and iOS is BSD, developed at University of California, Berkeley. The Internet as we know it started at Berkeley - one of the first TCP/IP stacks was just known as Berkeley Sockets. The Internet was at first a DARPA project (government funded) for distributed command and control. The work then went to California universities, trying to share scarce computing resources.

Re:Texas! (-1, Troll)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 4 months ago | (#47500571)

Yes. Government can create big useless things that cost shitloads of money. The internet became successful once private industry got involved.

Also. While Google was started by some students at the school. The school was not a reason for the success of Google. Not at all.

Re:Texas! (0)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 4 months ago | (#47500633)

The internet always was successful.
You forget it is simply a set of wires ... so education is not a reason for success, I wonder how you think so.

Re:Texas! (0)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 4 months ago | (#47500727)

Most university education only constrains people who are already smart and motivated to learn.

Today, education is at will. Those who want to know a thing can. The education system has been taken over and is closer to an indoctrination system than many are comfortable with.

You should hear the crap my children used to come home sprouting. It all started with D.A.R.E. When the government decided that lying to children was ok if it was justified by the end result. The problem is when you lie about what drugs do, and the children find out they think drugs are good. Thank God I could teach my children the truth about drugs and what the real dangers are.

We have the state paying for degrees in some seriously stupid shit. If you want to major in "Womens studies" with a minor in "Native American basket Weaving" more power to you. Though I do not want my tax money subsidizing it and I would suggest that you do not go deep into debt learning it.

Re:Texas! (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 4 months ago | (#47500937)

I don't live in the USA :) and the most things I'm learning/studying right now are either martial arts or sailing / navigation related.

Re:Texas! (1)

sycodon (149926) | about 4 months ago | (#47500731)

California has lots of oil too.

It remains locked up by the Environmentalists and Bureaucrats. So you have oil, but no oil industry to speak of.

Re:Texas! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47500885)

Unless you are adverse to plants storing large amounts of explosive chemicals having NO oversight, and figure going to door to door to ask them what they are storing isn't going to work.

What's the difference between Haiti with a 4.0 earthquake and California? Building codes. If living in a 1st world country is too much trouble, move to Texas or just skip all those minimum wages and do it in Honduras and utilize their "tax free" shipping zone that coincides with the Tar Sands pipeline exit point.

Re:Texas! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47501573)

reasonable environmental regulations

Texas' environmental regulations are anything but reasonable. Their entire environmental policy is based around the philosophy of, "Yeah, do whatever you want, it makes my life personally better and I'll be dead before climate change causes any real problems anyways."

Re:Texas? (4, Interesting)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | about 4 months ago | (#47499995)

I mean, it makes perfect sense to reward a state that makes it as difficult as possible to sell a vehicle with Tesla's sales model.

It makes perfect (business) sense to locate it in a state with depressed wages, huge amounts of available land, little-to-no zoning restrictions, lax environmental regulations, and politicians that are at least a buy-able as the rest. Hell, if it's good enough for the oil and gas industry...

Really? You really want to go there? True that huge chunks of employment in Texas is in the Walmart-like category for people with no specialized skills. But for manufacturing and up, wages are decent and the economy is booming. Go to Austin, Dallas or Houston for good paying jobs without the ridiculous hassles that you see in the Bay area: ageism, gentrification, and most important of all, absurd zoning laws that prevent creation of new housing/rental units to accommodate the growing population (and which causes housing/rental prices to be absurd to anyone except couples where both partners are in IT/STEM/Software.). The same is true in Seattle, Portland ,The Triangle and Denver (in particular Denver.) Texas is doing fine, more than fine. Just because there are a bunch of backwater NIMBY small towns full of folks who thing America's best years were 30-40 years ago, that doesn't mean the state is crap. People are moving there in droves for a reason, small businesses are booming, people in manufacturing are doing well. And most importantly, whether you work in STEM or in a factory plan, you can still afford an actual house that is not a hole in the wall (Sillycon Valleeey, I'm looking at you.)

Texas is doing well, and will be doing well for a long time. It is fair to criticize, but try to give some credit where credit is due every once in a while instead of blindly following the bash-your-favorite-dead-horse crowd.

Re:Texas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47499561)

Perhaps to meet them half way? I know that actually having a dialog and compromise with your "enemies" doesn't make much sense around Slashdot but it works in most of the rest of the world.
 
But then again, I am talking about Americans who still think that they can find political progression in voting for the same two parties over and over again and they still wonder why things never really change for the better.
 
Meh.

Re:Texas? (5, Insightful)

StoneCrusher (717949) | about 4 months ago | (#47499577)

This is why you're not a CEO or politician. Building this factory in Texas would make it harder for politicians to fight "Texas Made" cars. Sure the mouth pieces and opposition will still be there, but the mouth pieces promoting the cars would get a lot louder. Once you get Texas on board, a lot of southern states are easier. They are looking how to move forward, not punish for history.

Remember the next round of Tesla cars will be SUVs and bog standard sedans. Not pick up truck territory, but certainly Texas soccer mom and Austin city car markets.

Re:Texas? (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about 4 months ago | (#47499935)

Building this factory in Texas would make it harder for politicians to fight "Texas Made" cars.

But that's a REALLY big gamble. While having a massive production plant may give you some extra leverage, once it's built it's not like Tesla will be able to just pack up and leave if they don't get what they want. I guess only time will tell which side wins.

Re:Texas? (2)

StoneCrusher (717949) | about 4 months ago | (#47499989)

Not so much. They need to build the plant anyway. Even if Texas doesn't start making it easier for Tesla to sell directly, the plant will still function. It's not like building it in a another state will make Texas happy. It's a Win/draw situation for building in Texas to help the Texas and southern market, not a win/lose.

Now of course there are lots of other factors at play about where the factory will be built, but I'm pointing out that revenge is an absolutely terrible metric to use when making business decisions.

Re:Texas? (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 4 months ago | (#47500577)

It is more like WIN/win for Tesla.

They can get a good factory with sane levels of regulation and market wages and sell their cars in Texas or just get the former. Either way they win over California.

Re:Texas? (1)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | about 4 months ago | (#47500005)

This is why you're not a CEO or politician. Building this factory in Texas would make it harder for politicians to fight "Texas Made" cars. Sure the mouth pieces and opposition will still be there, but the mouth pieces promoting the cars would get a lot louder. Once you get Texas on board, a lot of southern states are easier. They are looking how to move forward, not punish for history. Remember the next round of Tesla cars will be SUVs and bog standard sedans. Not pick up truck territory, but certainly Texas soccer mom and Austin city car markets.

^^^ This. You can't win manufacturing lobbying wars without winning Texas.

Re:Texas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47500237)

if they made a 4 wheel drive truck with integrated air suspension, and ports to allow aftermarket (or possibly OEM) range extenders, texans would be all over this shit. a work truck with a built in GenSet, or a truck designed to get dirty with enough torque to rip a tree out of the ground. Electrics are capable of that. Also make it look like a space marine would drive it (advanced looking, but tough and rugged).

They could get started with a 2 seat truck, ALA the Ranger, and move up from there. Fleet sales really misses the Ranger.

Re:Texas? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47500347)

Funny thing, even the rural rednecks would love a Tesla pickup truck:

1: If they want to roll coal, a fake set of stacks and a fog machine can be added. Realistically, I live in Texas, and no rural farmer or rancher I know would ruin an expensive vehicle by detuning it and voiding the warranty, so why tempt fate?

2: A lot of rural work requires electricity. Being able to pull out tools, plug them into an inverter on the side of the truck, then get to work would make life a lot easier in the middle of nowhere. Even if the truck's batteries just powered a small A/C in an outbuilding, it would be useful.

3: Electric motors have lots of torque, and this is what is needed.

Texas is going to have to decide between dealer pull versus having a modern battery factory. I hope they do get with the times.

Re:Texas? (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 4 months ago | (#47501159)

> 3. Electric motors have lots of torque

This is why diesel railroad engines are used. In the words of Doc Brown, " No, no! This sucker's electrical!". The diesel motor powers a generator which drives the electric motor.

Re:Texas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47501515)

Remember the next round of Tesla cars will be SUVs and bog standard sedans. Not pick up truck territory, but certainly Texas soccer mom and Austin city car markets.

No Texans in Austin last time I checked. Just nerd Yankees that can't handle snow.

Re:Texas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47501593)

Then again, Tesla already can't keep up with demand without selling in Texas. It would be a relatively low-risk bet that by the time they NEED to sell in Texas they'll be allowed to, without making the crooked local politicians look good by building a factory there.

Re:Texas? (3, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about 4 months ago | (#47499695)

what state is the largest producer of clean wind energy?
hint, it's not california

Texas is a big tech hub

Re:Texas? (0)

cdrudge (68377) | about 4 months ago | (#47499975)

What state is the largest producer of clean energy [wikipedia.org] (of any kind)? Hint, it's not Texas.

Building a factory that produces vehicles for nationwide distribution based on the criteria of the ranked production of "clean wind energy" is silly.

Re:Texas? (2)

vossman77 (300689) | about 4 months ago | (#47500029)

Not that I want to defend Texas, but based on the wiki-table, you posted:

Texas produces the most renewable electricity (w/o Hydro) at 37,784 GW.h of any state in the USA (California close 2nd). I just happens to be a small percentage of its total electricity usage.

Re:Texas? (1)

Chris453 (1092253) | about 4 months ago | (#47500075)

Actually you might want to read the data in the link you just posted. There is a column label "Renewable electicity w/o Hydro (GW hr)". Your link text was "largest producer of clean energy". Texas is, in fact, the largest producer of clean energy (w/o hydro) as it is #1 in that list. Hydro is only available in certain parts of the country so including it will skew the results.

Re:Texas? (2)

cdrudge (68377) | about 4 months ago | (#47500197)

I think most people would say that "clean energy" and "renewable energy" are synonymous with one another. Why would you exclude hydroelectric as a clean and/or renewable energy source? When considering ALL forms of clean energy combined, Texas is not first. Not first in total production. Not first in percentage of generation.

If you are going to exclude hydroelectricity generated energy because it's only available in certain parts of the country, shouldn't you also exclude wind generated power since it's only feasible in certain parts of the country too? I'd probably also include solar since the further north you go, the less viable it becomes.

Re:Texas? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 4 months ago | (#47500369)

Actually if you look at even GOV statistics they do not list Hydro as a renewable. I also find this dumb. I also think that Nuclear should be listed as "clean" but the greens would never stand for it.

Re:Texas? (2)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 4 months ago | (#47500585)

You have waste, so it is not "clean".
Evers saw a mining site for Uranium? Does not really look nice either.

Re:Texas? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 4 months ago | (#47500895)

Ever seen a mining site for Aluminum?, Copper,? Ever see how much fuel a glass factory uses?
Everything has waste including Wind and Solar.

Re:Texas? (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 4 months ago | (#47500959)

And? Perhaps you should put that into proportion?
A single wind mill or a wind farm of 1000 mills cost as much 'raw materials' as another power plant.

It has no running demand of mining materials.

No wind and solar has no waste ... everything can be recycled or if it is not economic feasable safely deposited somewhere.

Muclear waste can't or at least no one found a working way to do it.

Re:Texas? (2)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 4 months ago | (#47500609)

The reason they have a w/o Hydro set is that many states do not have massive rivers and have no ability to compete there. So they create a set that all states can take advantage of if they want. In the that set Texas does really well.

Re:Texas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47500969)

The GP said "largest producer of clean WIND energy." Or are you too stupid to read on the 5th grade level?

Re:Texas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47500105)

You should consider reading your own link.
The chart you provided does not list a column for Wind Energy, but does have one for Renewable w/o Hydro.

Texas does rate highest in that category.

I believe the GP was making the point that Texas isn't the Anti-Environment place that your profiling and prejudices would lead an objective person to believe.

This is where you start quoting data from some one sided blog.

Re:Texas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47500463)

What state is the largest producer of clean energy [wikipedia.org] (of any kind)? Hint, it's not Texas.

According to that Wikipedia page, the largest producer of clean energy is Texas, followed by California.

Re:Texas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47500563)

Oops - I apologise. That is excluding Hydroelectric.

Re:Texas? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 4 months ago | (#47500211)

Texas is the only state in the mainland that has its own power grid [wikipedia.org] too. So if the grid needs to be upgraded to support added load requirements, I would imagine it would be easier politically as it involves only one state.

Re:Texas? (1)

Hodr (219920) | about 4 months ago | (#47500687)

Factory for building batteries, owned by the person who owns the largest installer of solar panels in the US, only considering regions with a high percentage of clear sunny days. Somehow I think the power grid is not their primary concern.

Re:Texas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47500505)

Kinda offset by Texas being the biggest energy slut [eia.gov]

Re:Texas? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47501121)

like Al Gore?

Re:Texas? (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 4 months ago | (#47499727)

for one, simply read necro81 post for why its a good idea to be in texas

secondly, if they build the factory in texas, they might have more swing to get the law changed to allow them to sell direct. all in all its a win win for tesla going to texas.

Re:Texas? (2)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 4 months ago | (#47499737)

A good CEO will not let politics, revenge or reward guide the decision, but rather consider the total package/environment and how that supports the success model. But, regardless of which states are in the running, the trick is to always have several competitive states in the mix right up till the end, even if you've already decided internally, just to make sure you get the best deal possible.

Re:Texas? (2)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | about 4 months ago | (#47500031)

A good CEO will not let politics, revenge or reward guide the decision, but rather consider the total package/environment and how that supports the success model. But, regardless of which states are in the running, the trick is to always have several competitive states in the mix right up till the end, even if you've already decided internally, just to make sure you get the best deal possible.

Hahahahaha, that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard? Where are you been all this time? Under a rock on Endor? Selling cars directly to customers is highly politicized, and there is no way a good CEO will make decisions without taking that into account.

It would be nice if we had a true free market where companies can sell their products directly to customers (and let the best product win) without interest groups lobbying for their right to be "middle man". But this is 'Murika, land of the free (when you can afford it), home of the brave (when you have the moolah to back it up.)

Tesla is being prevented from selling directly to customers because of politics, not market forces.

This is a huge political battle that Tesla must win for its benefit (and for the benefit of us all.) That requires political awareness and acumen.

A good CEO for Tesla will take politics into consideration when making decisions. When an industry

Re:Texas? (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 4 months ago | (#47500149)

If yo think political battling should take precedence over actual financial setup success, good luck. FWIW, If Tesla wants Texas to change, the best way is to startup in Texas.

Re:Texas? (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 4 months ago | (#47501063)

No, the point is that ignoring politics is bad business, and particularly risky in the US where the door to political manipulation by business is wide open, so if one company doesn't do it their competitors will!

Heck, look what Tesla already accomplished - they complained about California's ground rules, and got an exemption written into law for themselves - without casting a vote or spending a dollar! From the article: "On the legislative front, state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, co-authored a bipartisan bill, yet to be fleshed out, enabling Mather Field's business park, outside Sacramento, to avoid time-consuming environmental reviews. Large tax breaks were floated, like the $425 million tax break passed earlier this month for Lockheed Martin to persuade the company to build a new generation of bombers at its Los Angeles plant."

How can businesses refuse to play politics when half-billion dollar handouts are to be had for the asking?

Here's an article [washingtonpost.com] on google's political coming of age:

The rise of Google as a top-tier Washington player fully captures the arc of change in the influence business.

Nine years ago, the company opened a one-man lobbying shop, disdainful of the capital's pay-to-play culture.

Since then, Google has soared to near the top of the city's lobbying ranks, placing second only to General Electric in corporate lobbying expenditures in 2012 and fifth place in 2013.

... Today, Google is working to preserve its rights to collect consumer data - and shield it from the government - amid a backlash over revelations that the National Security Agency tapped Internet companies as part of its surveillance programs. And it markets cloud storage and other services to federal departments, including intelligence agencies and the Pentagon.

"Technology issues are a big - and growing - part of policy debates in Washington, and it is important for us to be part of that discussion," said Susan Molinari, a Republican former congresswoman from New York who works as Google's top lobbyist.

The most horrible thing about corruption is that one it sets in, you can't just unilaterally opt out without severe negative consequences.

Re:Texas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47499861)

If you can't fight them, buy them. It does make perfect sense.

Re: Texas? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 4 months ago | (#47499969)

Texas has a seaport. The other states would require extensive trucking or rail infrastructure to move the batteries in bulk. But where will the next Tesla vehicle factory be built and does the gigafactory plan to have more capacity than Motors requires?

Re: Texas? (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about 4 months ago | (#47500023)

There's major rail lines that crisscross the nation. Anywhere there is an automotive plant they've figured out how to ship any number of large and/or heavy items that are needed in large quantities for the production of automobiles. While there is no doubt that convenient shipping would be advantageous, my guess is that Tesla's investment for transportation of supplies and vehicles would be similar whether it's in Texas, California, or any other place that has developed transportation infrastructure. It's not like they would be paying for a dedicated rail line from wherever their plant will be all the way to a seaport.

Re:Texas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47500011)

Yeah oh well give up on 25 million possible customers.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_population#States_and_territories

Screw that 2nd largest market in the US. Yeah nothing to see here. /sarc

You are dreaming if you think anyone will give up on the texas market.

My bet is on nevada. As it would be close to their factories... And the tax structure is nice. Considering that is is where Microsoft and Apple are incorporated.

Re:Texas? (1)

JWW (79176) | about 4 months ago | (#47500357)

No state income tax for businesses.

Really, this plant is building components for the cars built in California. There is actually no relation from the manufacturing side to the selling side here.

This decision should be made puerilely on balance sheet issues that allow Tesla to make batteries and cars as cost effectively as they can.

Re:Texas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47500709)

That is one of the reasons.
Texas protects its internal businesses.
When Tesla is an internal business, they get that protection.

Plus, Texas will fast track a new business coming into the State.
Sadly, California has nothing but obstacles. And it is not just at the State level, the Counties have their regulations on top of the States.
(I had a Dentist who used amalgam fillings who had to move his office over a County because our County passed some new anti-lead rules and he couldn't stomach the equipment cost.)

I was worried for a minute (4, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 4 months ago | (#47499533)

Slashdot hadnt yet posted anything about Elon Musk today. My groupthink-o-meter was starting to dip back down below 'fellate'.

Re:I was worried for a minute (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47499587)

Don't worry, /. merely waits for yesterday's reddit wankfasts. Musk's army of astroturfer work 7 days a week. You'll never miss a thing!

What are the other 99% supposed to do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47499541)

The plans for this factory have it automated to hell, employing a skeleton crew of human beings. This is bringing manufacturing to California, but not jobs. What are the masses of unemployed except for the lucky handful supposed to do to feed their families?

Re:What are the other 99% supposed to do? (3, Interesting)

zwede (1478355) | about 4 months ago | (#47499617)

The plans for this factory have it automated to hell, employing a skeleton crew of human beings.

The plans include 6,500 employees.

https://www.greentechmedia.com... [greentechmedia.com]

Re:What are the other 99% supposed to do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47499653)

The plans include 6,500 employees.

That is a tiny fraction of what US manufacturing used to employ. During the heyday of the American middle class, GM employed hundreds of thousands of people.

Re:What are the other 99% supposed to do? (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 months ago | (#47499771)

How many factory workers were middle class, during this heyday of which you speak?

Re:What are the other 99% supposed to do? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 4 months ago | (#47499929)

How many factory workers were middle class, during this heyday of which you speak?

In the 50's and 60's? Most of them.

Re:What are the other 99% supposed to do? (5, Insightful)

necro81 (917438) | about 4 months ago | (#47500021)

How many factory workers were middle class, during this heyday of which you speak

A surprisingly large number. Going back to the early days of the model T, Ford (the person) recognized that if he paid his people better than the usual factory wages, he would 1) have lower employee turnover, 2) short-circuit squabbles with the nascent labor unions, 3) increased productivity and throughput (see 1 and 2), and most importantly 4) be creating a population that could actually buy the product he was trying to produce.

More recently, during the heyday that the GP spoke of (1940s through 1970s, then declining through the early 2000s), an auto worker could expect a modest, but stable, middle-class lifestyle from his (it was mostly men) factory job. It was blue-collar, didn't require a college degree, and could support a family on a single income. The large tracts of modest homes that made up Detroit are a testament to this fact. The decline in manufacturing around Detroit has directly led to the general poverty of the city, the depopulation, the urban blight (whole blocks of abandoned homes), and eventual bankruptcy of the city.

If you can get it, the same can be said for an automotive job today, or building airplanes for Boeing. Or, until their decline, the textile industries in the American southeast or the lumber industries in northern states. There are fewer guarantees with a manufacturing job today - it may not be lifelong employment, and your prospects during retirement look less secure. Still, they are decent jobs for decent people, and (right or wrong) the kinds of jobs that cities and states climb over each other to get.

Re:What are the other 99% supposed to do? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47501265)

In the 1960's the minimum wage in the USA was worth about twice [wikipedia.org] what is it now in constant dollars, at a time where 3-5 years of salary was enough to buy a home. Most automotive workers were not what we think now as middle class, but pretty close.

Jobs (4, Informative)

sjbe (173966) | about 4 months ago | (#47499999)

That is a tiny fraction of what US manufacturing used to employ

It's ONE COMPANY and a relatively small one at that. Do you expect them to single handedly employ everyone looking for work? 6500 jobs is a LOT of jobs but way to try to diminish a good thing there Debbie Downer.

During the heyday of the American middle class, GM employed hundreds of thousands of people.

They still do. GM presently directly employs roughly 219,000 people. Last I checked that qualifies as "hundreds of thousands of people". GMs suppliers employ about 6 times that many people for products made by GM. (look it up - there is roughly 6 manufacturing workers in the supply chain for every one at a major auto maker) And furthermore there is is a multiplier effect [slashdot.org] whereby every $1 spent in manufacturing results in approximately $1.35 in additional economic activity which means more jobs. The death of US manufacturing has been greatly exaggerated.

Re:What are the other 99% supposed to do? (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 4 months ago | (#47500659)

You sound like a Union Shill.

They should hire another 3,500 to stand around and get paid.

Re: What are the other 99% supposed to do? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47499639)

We don't live in an agrarian society anymore... We don't need 9 children just to meet the needs of the farmable land. Population increase was good for the economy when work was the limiting factor. We are now in a population-positive economy that doesn't need so many workers, they are not the most efficient means of getting work done, and to make up work by using less efficient means is wasteful, environmentally unsound, and unsustainable.

Re:What are the other 99% supposed to do? (1)

khallow (566160) | about 4 months ago | (#47499827)

What are the masses of unemployed except for the lucky handful supposed to do to feed their families?

Get a job somewhere else other than Tesla. It's not the only employer in existence.

Re:What are the other 99% supposed to do? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 3 months ago | (#47501565)

Or you could have zero jobs. It's not Tesla's responsibility to provide you with a livelihood.

The walken-comma (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47499603)

The decision should have been made by now, and ground broken, according to the company's timeline, but is on hold, allowing California, which was not in the race initially — CEO Elon Musk has called California an improbable choice, citing regulations — to throw its hat in the ring.

 
What the fuck, humans.

Re:The walken-comma (2, Interesting)

ganjadude (952775) | about 4 months ago | (#47499741)

frankly I dont know why anyone would want to open a business in cali right now. Business taxes are high, cost of living is high, regulations are horribly complex. Id much rather open a business pretty much anywhere else in the country over cali

Re:The walken-comma (2)

cjjjer (530715) | about 4 months ago | (#47500057)

You would think that Tesla would build the plant in Detroit, not only is land cheap and most likely loads of incentives but it would be a direct slap in the face to the big three automakers.

Re:The walken-comma (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 4 months ago | (#47500263)

You would think that Tesla would build the plant in Detroit, not only is land cheap and most likely loads of incentives but it would be a direct slap in the face to the big three automakers.

The trouble in setting up there would be, what are you going to use for a workforce?

Likely as not, not locals, and how are you going to convince folks to me to Detroit, not much incentive to move to a barren, economically sparse, drug infested/violence infested area. I mean, Tesla can't possibly pay THAT high of wages to give folks incentive to brave it by moving there.

Re:The walken-comma (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47501523)

Come for the money, stay for the whores

California is a fine place to start a business (2)

sjbe (173966) | about 4 months ago | (#47500079)

frankly I dont know why anyone would want to open a business in cali right now.

Depends on the business. For certain types of businesses, California is where the talent is located. Not to say you can't locate a successful company elsewhere (you can!) but there is a reason you find a lot of tech companies in California just like there is a reason you find a lot of manufacturing companies in Michigan, a lot of finance companies in New York, etc. Despite the problems California didn't become the economic powerhouse it did by random chance. It got there because it has the right combination of institutions, resources, talent and location.

Id much rather open a business pretty much anywhere else in the country over cali

Then I'm guessing you haven't opened a lot of businesses. There are certain businesses that make tremendous sense in California and others that make sense elsewhere. Unless you are going to get considerably more specific about what type of business you are planning to open then you are not making any sort of reasonable point.

Re:California is a fine place to start a business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47500629)

I agree it wud b Great to Start a freelance pharmacy, or get into government corruption, or Start up in politics, or become a gang star, but then i Just repeated myself 3 times sorry. ca does have a Great climate and some Great people, but the only way i coule see starting a business would ne toi keep it all Under the table and off the books, maybe use alternative fprma of currwncy.

the élite dont pay taxes and r allowed to peint money, why shouldnt i b alloeed to toi?

Re:California is a fine place to start a business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47500831)

the élite dont pay taxes and r allowed to peint money, why shouldnt i b alloeed to toi?

Because we don't want misspellings and AOLspeak on our money.

I just escaped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47500829)

I just escaped, lost half as many employees as I thought, and can actually, you know, expand my business. At the state level, California is more hostile than every state except Massachusetts. However, NJ and NY municipalities apparently want to ban all business. Austin traffic is bad, unless you compare it to the 5 or the 405. And it turns out that it's nice to have neighbors.

Yeah, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47499629)

is Tesla still in the run for the Gigafactory?

The decision should have been made by now, and ground broken, according to the company's timeline, but is on hold

Hmm ... hard to tell.

Make it a law (-1, Troll)

gelfling (6534) | about 4 months ago | (#47499641)

If you want to sell a Tesla in Calistan then it has to be built in Calistan by illegal aliens.

Re:Make it a law (3, Funny)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 4 months ago | (#47499759)

If you want to sell a Tesla in Calistan then it has to be built in Calistan by illegal aliens.

Rush Limbaugh called. He wanted us to tell you that you're a little over the top.

Re:Make it a law (0)

gelfling (6534) | about 4 months ago | (#47500399)

Or simply call for the state version of nationalization, tax it 100% and give away the cars for free.

Heavens no! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47499723)

The last time Tesla built a gigafactory it caused the Tunguska explosion!

Nevada is the only candidate (1)

DogShoes (149641) | about 4 months ago | (#47499799)

...it is the sole source ( as in only ) of Lithium in the United States. The rest of the choices are just head-fakes for negotiation and Texas in particular is a joke where at worst he gets to laugh at the idiots who take their candidacy seriously, and at best the longhorns repent on their policy of institutionalized racketeering. If you want to actually site the thing, study railroad maps.

Area 51 would be my choice, that would at least meet Calistan's "Proudly built by illegal aliens" mandate.

Re: Nevada is the only candidate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47499917)

Nickle is actually the main component, almost to the point that lithium is not a decision maker.

Re:Nevada is the only candidate (2)

gmhowell (26755) | about 4 months ago | (#47499943)

Now if only trucks or trains could be used to transport lithium...

Re:Nevada is the only candidate (1)

necro81 (917438) | about 4 months ago | (#47500093)

Nevada is the only candidate...it is the sole source ( as in only ) of Lithium in the United States

Yes, because moving lithium ore by rail from Nevada to California, or Texas, or any other candidate location would totally kill the economics of the endeavor. Nothing precludes Tesla from importing the lithium by sea, for that matter. They'll probably need to, in order to have enough for full production. The price of lithium is just one cost, and for a sophisticated manufactured product like a battery pack, not even the biggest cost.

Re:Nevada is the only candidate (1)

wchin (6284) | about 4 months ago | (#47500319)

Lithium is probably under 4% of the total mass of the battery. Tesla's battery is primarily composed of lithium, nickel, aluminum, cobalt, and graphite. Nickel and aluminum are the big constituents by mass of the battery. Total lithium mass per battery is probably around 20kg. For 1,000,000 cars, that's about 22,000 tons. That might be enough to start production in the U.S., but more likely, Canada will supply most of the initial amounts of raw materials including the nickel and lithium.

But what about next week? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47500051)

The nanny state giveth, the nanny state taketh away.

Not to bash just California, Texas' crony-friendly dealership protection scheme is much the same kind of anti-competitive nonsense that destroys innovation.

Which California? (3, Funny)

Dan East (318230) | about 4 months ago | (#47500055)

Which California? I hear there are 6 now.

Plain business as usual. (1, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 4 months ago | (#47500607)

California was not in the running. Suddenly it is in the running. Looks like it is a simple bargaining strategy to extract more pounds of flesh from whoever is despo enough to want that factory. Expect 20 year tax abatement on property taxes, pledge to improve road/rail access to the factory site by local municipalities, some "flexibility" in enforcement of some regulations...

Or typical evil big business as usual.

As long as we coddle these "big" guys, they will take it all and come begging for more.

"An arm and a leg? That was last year? What are you giving me this year? How about the other arm and the leg?"

"Both arms and legs? That was last year? What about this year? Look, as business we are supposed to look for profit and not feel stupid things like gratitude. I hear the other state has both legs and arms. If I don't extract it from them, my shareholders will sue. So see ya."

musk = tax moocher (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47500667)

typical rich guy, moochng off the public with tax breaks
bet he moves it all off shore as soon as he can, leaving the CA taxpayers with a huge hole

Why California? (1)

yog (19073) | about 4 months ago | (#47500935)

I'm surprised California would even be in the running. Land is expensive, taxes are high, and cost of living is among the highest in the country.

By contrast, Arizona and Nevada have cheap land, low taxes, and low cost of living plus low labor costs.

California's main asset is its technology population, plus access to sea ports.

Should be interesting to see who wins. I would have thought that Mr. Musk would prefer to place his plant in a low cost region like Malaysia or south China, but I guess there are logistical and political reasons to keep it in the home country.

Re:Why California? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47501317)

I'm surprised California would even be in the running. Land is expensive, taxes are high, and cost of living is among the highest in the country.

Not in Central Cal.
Cheap land (primarily agricultural) and inexpensive housing.
Services are lacking depending on particular region.

Must be running by 2016 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47501053)

Hopefully, they already have a pilot production line up making these 'advanced lithium batteries'?

Seems like the learning curve could be longer than 2016.

Sacremento? (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 3 months ago | (#47501647)

Sacremento is out in the California Delta. There's already a severe water shortage, plus that crop land is among the best in the world. Bad place to build a huge factory that will draw thousands of people into the area.
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