All of the drama over the last few years concerning where Tesla would build its first Gigafactory carried with it a lot of potential implications for the states in question, hence the jockeying for position and the various meetings between Tesla officials and state officials.
On that note, one of the perhaps lesser of these implications recently revealed itself with the announcement that Tesla will be investing $1 million into battery research at the University of the Nevada in Las Vegas over the next half decade. The move is unsurprising, as it was a requirement stipulated in the deal last year that Tesla would invest in educational research in the state. But it’s still worth highlighting.
Granted, considering that the Gigafactory is going to create up to 6,500 jobs (once at full capacity), and cost $5 billion to finish, one assumes that caveat wasn’t a high priority. Nevada seems to have been pretty set on luring Tesla to the state, though, as the company was eventually offered a deal that will see the EV manufacturer receive up to $1.3 billion in tax incentives over the next two decades.
Electrek provides more information on the battery research news:
Local newspapers reported on the signing ceremony taking place Wednesday afternoon with Tesla and UNLV (University of Nevada in Las Vegas) representatives as well as Governor Sandoval.
Sandoval commented on the deal: “It brings it all together. It brings North and South together. It brings cutting-edge technology together with cutting-edge research at this university.”
The Governor said Tesla not only delivered on its promises but exceeded them. Tom Piechota, UNLV’s interim vice president for research and economic development, said that most of the research under the agreement will be proprietary to Tesla and the university and the deal also includes helping the company study “manufacturing, water treatment, recycling and the behavior of certain metal materials.”
Interesting news. While the battery research is no surprise, the deal actually sounds far more encompassing. I wonder how many of the findings coming from those areas of study will be put to direct use at the Gigafactory?
As an ending note here, as far as is publicly known, the Gigafactory is still on schedule to begin operations (limited ones) early next year.
Image via Tesla