In Friday’s paper, the LA Times reports that Tesla claims to be close to negotiating a deal for a factory in the LA region. Apparently the government subsidies prompted the move 300 miles south:
The company has applied for $400 million in government loans, which it says it needs to get the plant off the ground and the Model S fully developed. But because the competitive federal programs favor projects situated on previously used industrial sites (so-called brownfields) rather than new construction, Musk said it would be in the company's best interest to find such a location.The hope is that the $57k Model S — derived from the $109k Roadster — will ship in 2011. However, the LAT points out that Tesla has backed out of other earlier deals.
"We did a review, and we just don't have a 500,000-square-foot empty building with 24-foot ceilings," said Reed, pointing out that Southern California, with its glut of abandoned aircraft factories, is rife with such spaces.
The first version I heard of the story — on the radio — noted that plug-in hybrids are due next year from a number of vendors, including GM and Toyota. Tesla founder Elon Musk has diss’d the plugins before, although they have the advantage of working with gasoline for longer range trips.