Hundreds walk off Tesla job in Nevada labor dispute

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Union organizers say hundreds of construction workers walked off the job at the Tesla Motors manufacturing plant east of Reno to protest the increased hiring of out-of-state workers for less pay.

District 16 trades council spokesman Russell James says approximately 350 plumbers, carpenters, electricians and others walked away from the construction site Monday morning.

More than 100 picketed outside the main gate against what they say is an unfair labor practice that undermines promises to hire mostly Nevada workers in exchange for more than $1 billion in state tax breaks.

James says the work is increasingly being done by crews for the non-union, New Mexico-based Brycon Corp.

Tesla said in a statement it’s in compliance with requirements that Nevadans make up more than half of the workers hired by individual contractors. It said three-fourths of the entire “gigafactory” workforce is from Nevada.

Charges filed in altercation between Tesla guards, RGJ staff

Tesla NevadaRENO — Storey County prosecutors have charged a Reno Gazette-Journal photographer with misdemeanor counts of trespassing and battery, and a reporter with misdemeanor trespassing after an altercation with two Tesla Motors security guards at an industrial park east of Sparks.

The newspaper’s lawyer says the journalists were trying to leave the area when they were attacked by two guards on Oct. 9.

Photographer Andy Barron initially was booked on one trespassing count and two counts of felony battery with a deadly weapon after the guards told investigators he drove a Jeep into them, causing minor injuries to both.

District Attorney Anne Langer reduced the felony charges to misdemeanor battery counts when she filed the formal criminal complaint Wednesday in Justice Court in Virginia City. The complaint said the crimes occurred “at or near” the Tesla battery factory under construction at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center.

Deputy Ken Quirk wrote in his police report made public for the first time that Barron drove the Jeep “with a wanton disregard for life and property.”

Barron’s lawyer, John Arrascada, told the newspaper he intends to plead not guilty. The reporter, Jason Hidalgo, declined comment.

A pretrial conference is scheduled Feb. 4.

Tesla spokeswoman Ricardo Reyes said earlier the journalists had been warned about trespassing before.

“We are pleased that the district attorney has taken quick action and is pursuing justice for Tesla employees who were assaulted by RGJ employees trespassing on private property,” he said in an email Friday.

Scott Glogovac, a Reno lawyer representing the newspaper, said in an Oct. 19 letter to Tesla that the guards rammed the newspaper’s vehicle with an ATV, smashed a car window with a rock and cut Barron from his seat belt with a knife before throwing him to the ground.

Deputy Quirk said when he asked the two guards, Mike Ochs of Fernley and Ian Langtry of Reno, why they acted in the way they did that Ochs stated he feared for their safety and “determined that Barron’s reckless action needed to be stopped.”

Both journalists told the deputy the guards were overly aggressive, demanded they delete their photos and eventually rammed their Jeep with an ATV.

Quirk said Barron told him that Ochs “scared him so he was trying to get away,” didn’t see Langrty behind the Jeep and didn’t know he struck him. Quirk said Barron claimed he didn’t know they were on private property but Hidalgo admitted both willfully trespassed “to get closer for better pictures.”

Tesla says two Nevada journalists from RGJ snuck into its factory and injured its employees

A bizarre tale of trespassing, journalism, and a factory.

Journalists sometimes go to great lengths to obtain valuable information, but a couple of them may have crossed some lines on Friday.

According to a blog post from Tesla Motors TSLA 1.70% on Tuesday, two journalists snuck into its Gigafactory in Nevada on Friday evening to take photos and look around the facilities before a security guard caught them. Long story short, the incident ended with two Tesla employees sustaining injuries and one arrest for felony assault with a deadly weapon.

The culprits were two journalists from the Reno Gazette-Journal, according to Tesla.

Andy Barron was booked on a charge of battery with a deadly weapon, Storey County Sheriff Gerald Antinoro said.

“He was arrested after an altercation with the security guards when they attempted to detain him for trespassing,” Antinoro said.

Antinoro said Barron tried to drive away from guards and “either hit or almost hit one or more of the security officers.”

“They were stopped at that point in time and detained until my people got there and conducted an investigation that led to the arrest of whoever was driving the vehicle,” Antinoro said.

Reno Gazette-Journal Publisher John Maher said the newspaper is taking the incident seriously.

Late on Friday, a Tesla safety manager received noticed that two men were taking pictures on the factory’s premises and attempted to confront them. After a second safety manager arrived at the scene and they were asked to wait until the Sheriff’s department and safety management arrived, the two men got into their Jeep car. Then, this happened, according to Tesla:

As the Tesla employee attempted to record the license plate number on the rear bumper, the driver put it in reverse and accelerated into the Tesla employee, knocking him over, causing him to sustain a blow to the left hip, an approximate 2” bleeding laceration to his right forearm, a 3” bleeding laceration to his upper arm, and scrapes on both palms.

As the RGJ employees fled the scene, their Jeep struck the ATV that carried the two safety managers. When one of the safety managers dismounted the ATV and approached the Jeep, the driver of the Jeep accelerated into him, striking him in the waist.

The Sheriff’s department arrested and charged one of the employees with two counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon and told both journalists that they will be charged with trespassing, according to Tesla.

Fortune has reached out to the Reno Gazette-Journal and will update this story if we hear back.

Reno-area gigafactory expected to play role in new Tesla effort

Tesla NevadaRENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) – A highly anticipated Tesla announcement scheduled for Thursday night has spiked the car company’s shares by 7 percent.

There are little details as to what Tesla CEO Elon Musk will announce, but there are major clues.

He set the internet abuzz last month with a tweet saying it would be a new product line—- and not a car.

All signs point to what the company calls, Stationary Energy Storage Applications. In simpler terms, they’re consumer batteries that would power homes and businesses; at a fraction of the price. Musk’s brother tells CNNmoney it could slash electric bills by 25 percent.

With Tesla moving into town in a couple years, the $5 billion gigafactory just outside of Reno could play a big role in producing the innovative batteries.

According to Tesla’s latest projections, the gigafactory will produce battery packs for their automobiles and later, as much as a quarter of the plant’s capacity could be used for stationary batteries.

During the company’s last quarterly earnings call in February, Musk indicated that a home consumer battery would be unveiled soon. Also, in the latest shareholder report, Tesla projected it would start ramping up sales of stationary batteries in 2015.

Union says gigafactory construction delayed, Tesla disputes delay claims

Construction has been delayed at Telsa Motors’ gigafactory site east of Reno, according to a couple of union job postings.

Earlier this year, the national job board for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers updated its listing for “Project Tiger” — the initial code name for the gigafactory — to indicate a change in demand for electricians.

“The Tiger Project has been cut back by 80% at this time,” the IBEW post said. “This is all subject to change.”

Meanwhile, the local branch of the union in Reno also posted a message about the gigafactory on its job referral page. Several members said the message initially mentioned “Project Tiger” before it was updated.

“The major project in the area has been delayed at this time,” said the post on the IBEW Local 401 site. “Further updates will be posted as soon as we know more.”

The posts on both sites remain unchanged as of Thursday, March 4.

The common thread attributed to the delay is a change in design plans for the gigafactory, which started ramping up construction late last year. As a result, sources familiar with the situation at the site consider the current reduction more of a short-term hiccup that should not affect the project long term.

A spokesperson for Tesla Motors declined to comment on whether there has been a change in plans for the site when reached by phone, only saying that the project is fully mapped out and funded. Another spokesperson said claims about delays at the gigafactory site are flat out inaccurate.

“It would be incorrect to say that construction is delayed at the gigafactory site,” said Tesla spokeswoman Alexis Georgeson. “We are on schedule.”

Citing a non-disclosure agreement with Tesla Motors, a representative for IBEW Local 401 declined to comment about the postings when reached by the Reno Gazette-Journal by phone.

The Building & Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada also declined to provide specifics about the situation at the gigafactory, citing the non-disclosure agreement as well.

“I can confirm that there has been a reduction in hours and that’s all I can say,” said Paul McKenzie, secretary and treasurer of the Building & Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada.

The reported reduction is not affecting all aspects of labor. The Iron Workers Local 118 has done plenty of work at the gigafactory location, including the erection of a $15 million steel structure on the site that started in December. Iron Workers Local 118 declined to comment on the work situation on the site due to a non-disclosure agreement with Tesla. Several sources familiar with the project, however, say changes in plans are part of construction, especially for a facility as large as the gigafactory. Building a project in phases also means the need for various job crews can shift as demand changes, with certain phases of construction requiring more iron workers than electricians, for example.

The electricians union, meanwhile, lists 78 local members as having signed up for the inside journeyman wireman position for the gigafactory, describing their prospects as “promising.” It also has 379 out-of-state members signed up as well, although their prospects are described as “slow.” In order to receive $1.3 billion worth of incentives, Tesla is required to hire at least half of its construction workers from the state of Nevada.

Landing Tesla’s gigafactory has been described as one of the biggest wins in economic development history. Activity at the gigafactory site is already being credited for helping boost the Reno area’s construction industry, which lost more than 70 percent of its workforce during the recession.

Forget Cars: Tesla Wants to Power Your House

elon musk iron manIf there’s one thing we’ve learned in recent years in the tech sector, it’s to never, ever underestimate Elon Musk.

This is a guy who took Wall Street by storm. His car company, Tesla (TSLA), has been a market darling. In October of 2012, you could have bought a share of Tesla stock for about $28. That share will cost you over $200 today.

Tesla has a market cap of nearly $28 billion despite never having had a year with positive earnings. EPS for the trailing 12 months is ($2.36). For comparison purposes, Tesla’s market cap is only a little less than half that of General Motors, which had net income of $2.8 billion last year.

Such is the genius of Elon Musk that he’s convinced investors he has a product whose sales will grow, essentially, to the moon.

Thus when we came across a story headlined Why Tesla’s Battery for Your Home Should Terrify Utilities, we had to take a look.

Seems that during a mostly disappointing Tesla earnings call last week, Musk casually dropped the news that his company is working on a full-house battery that could help you break up with your expensive utility company and propel you into off-grid self-sufficiency. You can listen to the call if you’re curious.

Interest in solar power is nothing new for Elon. He chairs a company called SolarCity, which has been installing panels on people’s roofs since 2006, now has 168,000 customers, and controls 39% of the residential solar market.

With solar power the big bugaboo is energy storage—when the sun is shining, you aren’t always using electricity, and vice versa. So your solar power always had to come with a regular utility hookup or a giant room full of expensive and toxic lead acid batteries (99% of people opted for the former, of course). Now along comes Musk, claiming that he has a battery on the way that’ll solve that problem. The design should be available to see within the next month or two, and production could begin in as little as six months.

Musk says that within 5-10 years, every set of solar panels that SolarCity installs will come with a battery pack. That dovetails nicely with last fall’s announcement that Tesla will build a vast “gigafactory” for producing lithium-ion batteries in Nevada. Not everyone is convinced, let it be said.

How successful these efforts will be remains to be seen. But as noted at the outset, this is one tough cookie to bet against.

Tesla Gigafactory construction in Reno Nevada still super secret and ahead of schedule

tesla site

STOREY COUNTY, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) — The Tesla construction site at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Park looks a lot different than it did six months ago. Back then there were earth movers grading, smoothing and preparing the ground for a 10-million square foot Gigafactory. There was a security gate with a sign identifying the site as “Project Tiger.” Today, the secrecy remains and so does the sign however, enormous steel beams are now rising out of the desert. The steel skeleton of the $5-billion dollar Gigafactory is now in place.

SEE THE VIDEO HERE: 

http://www.mynews4.com/news/local/story/Ahead-of-schedule-and-still-top-secret/PqryEX7UB0eQtu5L98MCow.cspx

High winds blasted through the region halting heavy construction yesterday and today. The mix of dust, low visibility and heavy machinery was not a good combination. Developer Lance Gilman said, “We’re clocking winds out here measuring 70-to-80 miles an hour. Anywhere else in the country that would be called a hurricane and everybody would stay home from work. You know, we’re all still just out here doing our thing.”

Tesla-Gigafactory-570x277-56143Gilman said Tesla was allowing him to bring his prospects on a tour of the facility but not anymore. Gilman said, “They don’t want visitors. They pretty much put everyone in the company, their subcontractors, all of us in the county, on notice. They do not want visitors.” He added the facility contains proprietary components Tesla does not wany anyone to see up close.

Despite the wind, a Tesla spokesperson said construction is ahead of schedule. Gilman said that doesn’t surprise him. He added, “They’re all hands in the cook, if you don’t mind me using an old rodeo term. I mean they are very, very busy. I think there are 250 steelworkers alone here right now.”

Tesla: We’re Making a New 2015 Roadster

tesla sportTesla’s first electric car, the 2007-2011 Roadster, may have ceased production after its planned 2,500 (ish) car production run, but the Tesla Roadster will live on in an all-new car for 2014, Tesla has confirmed.

In an interview with Autocar, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed what we already suspected: that an all-new 2015 Tesla Roadster would come to market some time in 2014.

The news is hardly surprising. After all, Tesla has already detailed how it plans to use the chassis and power train from its 2012 Model S luxury sedan to spawn a whole new range of vehicles, including the Model X Crossover SUV, a van, and a cabriolet.

But the new roadster won’t be based on the Model S platform. Instead, it is most likely going to be built on a brand-new platform produced by shortening the existing Model S chassis.

Construction underway for Tesla charging station in Elko, NV

tesla elkoELKO – Tesla Motors, a cutting-edge electric car company that caused a statewide buzz last year with the announcement that its lithium ion battery gigafactory would be housed near Reno, will also make its mark in Elko.

A six-stall charging station is under construction in the Elko Junction Shopping Center at 2405 Mountain City Highway.

The Tesla charging station, which resembles gas pumps, will be hooked up to a transformer, powered by NV Energy.

The city building department confirmed Tesla applied for a building permit in late December. Its valuation was determined at $130,000.

The company’s website touts the stations, called “superchargers” as the fastest charging stations in the world.

“Superchargers are free connectors that charge Model S in minutes instead of hours,” it states. “Stations are strategically placed to minimize stops and are conveniently located near restaurants, shopping centers, and WiFi hot spots.”

Tesla Motors – The Future of Electric Cars [Full Documentary]

The site hosts a map of the United States dotted with more than 350 lightning bulb icons depicting where charging stations are located or soon will be. Three across Interstate 80 in Nevada are to be built this year.

Superchargers are already in Reno and West Wendover, according to Tesla.

“Using a Supercharger is as easy as using a Wall Connector,” reads the company’s website. “You simply plug in, walk away and in approximately 30 minutes you have enough range to get to your destination or the next station.”

The half-hour charge, Tesla says, allows the car to drive 170 miles before a recharge is needed.

Along with superchargers in America, stations can be found in Europe, Asia and Australia.

The gigafactory near Reno will be in a 5 million square-foot building and employ around 6,500 people, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

To entice the company, state officials offered a package of tax exemptions that totaled $1.3 billion. The Legislature unanimously voted in favor of the deal during a three-day special session in September. The factory will be located in Storey County.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk wrote in a Nov. 21 blog post that the state will reap enormous benefit by having the battery factory.

“The deal is not merely slightly good for the people of Nevada, it is extremely good,” he wrote.

Tesla stock falls after Musk says company won’t profit until 2020

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Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, left, and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval shake hands following a press conference where Nevada was announced as the new site for a $5 billion car battery gigafactory, at the Capitol in Carson City, Nev., on Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison)

Wed, Jan 14, 2015 (2:47 p.m.)

Tesla fell 6% in trading on Wednesday, closing at $193 a share.

The stock dipped as low as $188 before recovering.

The drop was signaled Tuesday when CEO Elon Musk told a group of journalists at the Detroit Auto Show that Tesla sales in China were disappointing in the fourth quarter and that the company would not achieve profitability until 2020.

Read the full story from Business Insider

Commentary by Ron Knight : The Tesla Deal: three problems

Like many Nevadans, I have mixed feelings about the deal our state made with Tesla Motors to get it to locate its electric vehicle (EV) battery giga-plant near Reno. The deal raises at least three salient, related issues, and it shows how fast and loose politicians, bureaucrats, advocates, opponents and the press play with numbers and facts.

First, did Nevada give Tesla more than it should have? The headline figures are that Nevada committed $1.3-billion in incentives to get Tesla to locate its $5-billion lithium battery factory with 6,500 permanent jobs at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center (TRIC) beginning in 2017, plus 3,000 jobs during plant construction.

That account makes it sound as if Nevada will hand over $1.3-billion up front to Tesla, but that’s not the deal. Nearly all the incentives come from tax abatements and credits over the next ten to twenty years. Further, the deal has a number of provisions regarding investment, job creation for Nevadans and other matters that Tesla must satisfy to get the tax breaks.

Tesla will get discounts on electric energy and related benefits that will cause our power bills to increase by an estimated $1.84 per year. And it will be exempt from laws that unreasonably constrain is scope of business in Nevada, while those laws will still apply to its competitors. Overall, one account says Tesla’s deal is 15 times larger than any incentive package Nevada has given to any other company.

So, did Nevada give too much? We can’t really know whether Tesla would have come for lesser incentives, because other factors complicate the matter. For example, Tesla claims that Texas offered greater incentives. However, TRIC has key cost and logistics advantages that make it the prime place for the plant. First, it’s closest among all industrial sites to the only active lithium mine in the country. Second, it’s closest among the non-California sites to the plant at which the batteries will be used. So, we can’t know what level of enticements was the minimum Tesla would have taken from us.

Moreover, we can’t know whether we gave too much because we can’t know the likelihood of success of the venture, nor have a reliable estimate of its likely total economic benefits to Nevada — the second key issue. The batteries are proposed to be used in EVs to be built in Fremont California, but EVs are not yet a commercial product without government subsidies of various kinds, and they may never be. Consumers may prefer existing car technologies or some other ones being developed, and we have little way to know the likely success of Tesla’s EVs.

We do know that Tesla has never turned an annual profit, despite benefitting from much government subsidy and preference, which should give one pause.

While wild figures of total expected economic and jobs benefits have been touted, they should be almost entirely discounted. As an economist and an elected official who has had to sit in judgment of proposals involving such estimates, I know they typically involve apples-to-oranges comparisons at best and more likely shoddy and unsupportable claims and estimates. With no reliable assessment of the likely success of the venture and its probable benefits to Nevada, we can’t know whether we paid too much.

That said, I, like nearly all Nevadans, hope for the success of this project and great benefits to our state now that Nevada has committed to it.

But that still leaves the final issue: the fairness of the deal to existing Nevada businesses and to other businesses that might want to locate here. Even if we knew that the incentive package was the minimum deal needed to get Tesla’s plant here and we further knew that the project would be a success at the levels estimated by Tesla and that the deal passes constitutional muster (which has been questioned by some folks), Tesla got a deal that other businesses won’t get. It will pay little or no state or local taxes for at least a decade and continue to get great breaks for another decade after that.

The benefits to Nevadans due to the project’s employment and purchasing of goods and services, plus other more speculative benefits may be substantial, but that’s also true of many existing Nevada businesses and new projects that won’t receive Tesla’s tax breaks and other benefits.

If the incentives were being offered to Tesla by a private firm that saw net expected benefit from the deal, the fact that some other companies did not get a comparable deal would be no legitimate concern of any other party. But the public sector has a fundamental obligation to deal with all taxpayers and other parties on a consistent and equitable basis. And that issue is not satisfied even if one concludes the project is a good economic deal overall for Nevadans and our economy.

——————

Ron Knecht is an economist, law school graduate and Nevada higher education regent.

Is Tesla’s $1.25 billion tax break worth it?

Anjeanette Damon/RGJ
Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks to the media Thursday from the steps of the Capitol in Carson City. The entrepreneur is working to innovate better, cheaper batteries for electric cars.
When Gov. Brian Sandoval stood on the festooned steps of the Capitol beside a billionaire known as an entrepreneurial visionary, he opted against explaining to the giddy crowd before him the significant investment he would be asking taxpayers to make in the “transformational” deal he had brokered to win Tesla’s gigafactory.

In Sandoval’s brief speech, he barely alluded to the $1.25 billion tax incentive package, referencing only “concerns” some may have and promising he was guided in the negotiations by one question: Is this good for Nevada?
Unsurprisingly, Sandoval answered ‘yes’ to the question.
BREAKING DOWN THE DEAL: Inside Nevada’s $1.25 billion Tesla tax deal
The lack of specifics discussed at the celebratory announcement belied the fact that tax incentives drove the entire fight for the massive battery factory — a project that Sandoval says could boost Northern Nevada’s economic output by an astounding 20 percent.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk even seemed a bit sheepish that taxpayers will foot such a heavy bill for his project, saying repeatedly that the tax break wasn’t the driving force behind his decision to come to Nevada, nor was it the largest incentive package offered by states competing with Nevada for the factory.
“The biggest single factor was time to completion,” Musk said in a scrum with reporters after his remarks.
Sandoval’s Economic Development Director Steve Hill, who helmed the at-times difficult negotiations, feigned shock when Musk downplayed the importance of the $1.25 billion in incentives, which must first be approved by the Legislature in a special session next week.
“This is the first time I’ve heard that incentives aren’t the most important thing,” he said to the crowd’s laughter.
This is the first time Nevada has put together a so-called megadeal — sometimes referred to as “trophy deal” by critics — that have come under fire recently by some policy think tanks that say the interstate competition for these deals is a race to the bottom that results in simply shifting economic activity across a state line at the expense of taxpayers.
The Tesla deal is the 10th largest megadeal in the country, according to data compiled by the non-profit policy organization Good Jobs First, which has emerged as a leading critic of tax incentives.
“You’ll notice in our study that the average cost per job was $456,000,” said Greg Leroy, executive director of Good Jobs First. “At that rate, no state is going to break even.”
While the Tesla deal fits the organization’s definition of a megadeal because it’s worth more than $75 million, some of the contours are different than similar deals across the country.
For example, Tesla will be required to invest at least $3.5 billion in the state before it is eligible for any abatements — a much higher threshold than those required in other states. Tesla plans to hire 6,500 workers, meaning the cost per job, will be $192,000 — a significant chunk of change but still far below the national average.
Because of recent legislation tightening requirements on tax incentives, Nevada’s abatements are performance based. The draft legislation on the Tesla package hasn’t be released yet, so details on the specific protections are unknown.
But generally, Tesla won’t earn the incentive unless it makes good on its investment and employment commitments.
If they don’t do what they say, “those incentives don’t exist,” Hill said.
Leaving aside the question of whether state competition drives up the taxpayer cost for such megadeals, Leroy said taxpayers should scrutinize the cost for additional government services needed in the wake of such a project.
Tesla’s $1.25 billion incentive package lasts 20 years. Under the deal, the battery factory will operate in Storey County tax free for a decade. Its sales tax exemption — worth $725 million — extends for 20 years.
“I hope this project succeeds and the jobs are generated and I hope electric cars thrive,” Leroy said. “If they do, you’re going to have a lot of growth there. Growth is not free. There will be schools to build, lanes to widen, trash to pick up. That will all be paid for by people whose names are not Tesla.”
Concerns have already been raised about the Washoe County School District’s ability to handle an influx of students from families drawn to the area by the plant.
To ease some of that concern, Tesla has committed to contribute $37.5 million to education over five years. How that money will be spent is still being debated, but it could go to infrastructure or a STEM program.
Mark Muro, a fellow at the Brookings Institute, who has also been a critic of the state competition for big deals, said a case could be made that a project as singular as the gigafactory is worth outsized tax incentives.
“This is the plant you want if you’re going to spend $1.3 billion,” Muro said. “It is frontier, high-tech, unfolding technology and it’s clearly innovative.”
The giant project also fits in perfectly with Nevada’s well-reasoned economic development plan that identifies specific industry sectors on which to focus.
But to make good, Nevada will have work to do leveraging ancillary opportunities, such as building a workforce with the science, technology and math skills necessary and attracting the supply-chain companies to town.
“I think a huge element of this is the extent to which the supply chain is pulled into Nevada,” he said.
Risk also exists in the fact that mass production of lithium-ion batteries is an emerging technology. Musk stressed that the most important factor in his decision was how quickly the factory could become operational. That’s because Tesla’s viability as a company rests on Musk’s ability to mass produce the batteries, but also because he needs to catch the technology’s timing correctly.
“The battery technology industry is an incredibly fast-moving and competitive business,” Muro said.
As Matthew Wald wrote in the New York Times on Thursday, technology is moving so fast, that lithium-ion batteries could be obsolete quickly, perhaps expiring before the 20-year tax abatements do.
“That could make the factory’s output as useful as carbon paper or floppy disks,” he wrote.
Still, Musk’s reputation for, as Sandoval put it, converting “the unthinkable to reality” is renown.
“I wouldn’t bet against Elon Musk,” Muro said.
A look at the tax incentives proposed for the Tesla gigafactory:
– A 100 percent sales tax abatement for 20 years: $725 million
-A 100 percent real and personal property tax abatement for 10 years: $332 million
-A 100 percent modified business tax (payroll tax) abatement for 10 years: $27 million
-Transferrable tax credits worth $12,500 per job for up to 6,000 jobs: $75 million
-Transferrable tax credits worth 5 percent of the first $1 billion investment and 2.8 percent of the next $2.5 billion investment: $120 million
-Discounted electricity rates for eight years: $8 million
-Nevada will buy the USA Parkway right of way: $43 million
-Nevada will extend USA Parkway to U.S. Highway 50 in Lyon Co.: Cost unknown
-Tesla will pay Nevada $7.5 million for education for five years: $37 million
Source: State of Nevada
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Tesla better off in Texas than Nevada? – U.S. Sen. Dean Heller warned Monday that a proposal to fund education by taxing corporations would undermine efforts to persuade Tesla Motors to build a $5 billion battery plant in Nevada.

tesla motorsU.S. Sen. Dean Heller warned Monday that a proposal to fund education by taxing corporations would undermine efforts to persuade Tesla Motors to build a $5 billion battery plant in Nevada.

The Republican senator believes Nevada is well-positioned in the bidding war with Texas, California, New Mexico and Arizona to lure the electric-car maker whose “gigafactory” would bring an estimated 6,500 jobs. He cited the state as the only place where the California-based company has done site work to prepare to build, but Tesla has plans to break ground in one or two other states as well.

MORE:

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Heller attended a transportation round table sponsored by the Association of General Contractors in Sparks at Granite Construction, which helped prepare the dirt pad last month at an industrial park east of Sparks.

He would not say whether he thinks Gov. Brian Sandoval should call a special legislative session to put together an incentive package to compete with the other states, as some business leaders have advocated.

But the margins tax on the November ballot, which has support from teachers unions and others, would eliminate one of Nevada’s big advantages over its neighbor to the west, he said.

“We will have a higher corporate income tax than the state of California,” Heller said. “That wouldn’t be good for Nevada.”

The 2 percent tax on businesses that earn more than $1 million would raise an estimated $700 million to $800 million annually, to be spent on K-12 education.

Supporters of the tax say increased spending on education is critical to attracting business to Nevada.

“We hear from a lot of businesses that say they want to invest in Nevada but they’re not sure about our education system, especially whether higher education institutions can handle their needs in term of research,” said Ruben Murillo, president of the Nevada State Education Association, adding that Texas also has a margins tax on corporations.

Tesla is keeping its options open as five states seek to attract its plant. Texas and California especially have more financial resources to offer.

Nevada economic development laws allow several incentive programs, from abatements on personal property, sales and business taxes to sales tax deferrals. But any changes or additions would require legislative action, and biennial Legislature won’t convene again until Feb. 2, 2015. That looks to be past Tesla’s timetable.

CEO Elon Musk, speaking to Wall Street analysts July 31, said he expects the winning state to cover “maybe 10 percent” of the factory’s cost — the $5 billion figure is the cost through 2020. He said a final site would be selected “in the next few months.”

Happy Birthday Nikola Tesla – The Genius Who Lit the World

FREE ENERGY – Nikola Tesla unlimited free energy forever THEY don’t want you to know about !

HOLES IN HEAVEN HD – SECRET TESLA TECHNOLOGY HD Movie

NIKOLA TESLA – The Genius Who Lit the World – FEATURE FILM

Nikola Tesla was a legendary futurist before the term futurist even existed. He made all kinds of predictions about the way that world would and should operate — some of them accurate, and some of them controversial. And guess what? It’s his birthday!

Born “at the stroke of midnight” on July 9th/10th in 1856, Nikola Tesla almost seemed destined to become a mythological figure. The internet just can’t get enough of him at the moment. Tesla’s combination of underdog status and absolute brilliance have turned him into an internet folk hero for the early 21st century.

For some further reading on Tesla and his legacy be sure to check out Glenn Beck’s plans for an Edison/Tesla movie, Gizmodo’s chat with Tesla biographer W. Bernard Carlson, and why we probably shouldn’t canonize Tesla just yet.

Happy birthday, Tesla. You lovely, strange, forward-thinking weirdo. Below, you can read some of his predictions for the 21st century.

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Original post by Matt Novak on Paleofuture

Nikola Tesla’s Amazing Predictions for the 21st Century

Nikola Tesla's Amazing Predictions for the 21st Century

In the 1930s journalists from publications like the New York Times and Time magazine would regularly visit Nikola Tesla at his home on the 20th floor of the Hotel Governor Clinton in Manhattan. There the elderly Tesla would regale them with stories of his early days as an inventor and often opined about what was in store for the future.

Last year we looked at Tesla’s prediction that eugenics and the forced sterilization of criminals and other supposed undesirables would somehow purify the human race by the year 2100. Today we have more from that particular article which appeared in the February 9, 1935, issue of Liberty magazine. The article is unique because it wasn’t conducted as a simple interview like so many of Tesla’s other media appearances from this time, but rather is credited as “by Nikola Tesla, as told to George Sylvester Viereck.”

It’s not clear where this particular article was written, but Tesla’s friendly relationship with Viereck leads me to believe it may not have been at his Manhattan hotel home. Interviews with Tesla at this time would usually occur at the Hotel, but Tesla would sometimes dine with Viereck and his family at Viereck’s home on Riverside Drive, meaning that it’s possible they could have written it there.

Viereck attached himself to many important people of his time, conducting interviews with such notable figures as Albert Einstein, Teddy Roosevelt and even Adolf Hitler. As a German-American living in New York, Viereck was a rather notorious propagandist for the Nazi regime and was tried and imprisoned in 1942 for failing to register with the U.S. government as such. He was released from prison in 1947, a few years after Tesla’s death in 1943. It’s not clear if they had remained friends after the government started to become concerned about Viereck’s activities in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

Tesla had interesting theories on religion, science and the nature of humanity which we’ll look at in a future post, but for the time being I’ve pulled some of the more interesting (and often accurate) predictions Tesla had for the future of the world.

Creation of the EPA

The creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was still 35 years away, but Tesla predicted a similar agency’s creation within a hundred years.

Hygiene, physical culture will be recognized branches of education and government. The Secretary of Hygiene or Physical Culture will be far more important in the cabinet of the President of the United States who holds office in the year 2035 than the Secretary of War. The pollution of our beaches such as exists today around New York City will seem as unthinkable to our children and grandchildren as life without plumbing seems to us. Our water supply will be far more carefully supervised, and only a lunatic will drink unsterilized water.

Education, War and the Newspapers of Tomorrow

Tesla imagined a world where new scientific discoveries, rather than war, would become a priority for humanity.

Today the most civilized countries of the world spend a maximum of their income on war and a minimum on education. The twenty-first century will reverse this order. It will be more glorious to fight against ignorance than to die on the field of battle. The discovery of a new scientific truth will be more important than the squabbles of diplomats. Even the newspapers of our own day are beginning to treat scientific discoveries and the creation of fresh philosophical concepts as news. The newspapers of the twenty-first century will give a mere ” stick ” in the back pages to accounts of crime or political controversies, but will headline on the front pages the proclamation of a new scientific hypothesis.

Health and Diet

Toward the end of Tesla’s life he had developed strange theories about the optimal human diet. He dined on little more than milk and honey in his final days, believing that this was the purest form of food. Tesla lost an enormous amount of weight and was looking quite ghastly by the early 1940s. This meager diet and his gaunt appearance contributed to the common misconception that he was penniless at the end of his life.

More people die or grow sick from polluted water than from coffee, tea, tobacco, and other stimulants. I myself eschew all stimulants. I also practically abstain from meat. I am convinced that within a century coffee, tea, and tobacco will be no longer in vogue. Alcohol, however, will still be used. It is not a stimulant but a veritable elixir of life. The abolition of stimulants will not come about forcibly. It will simply be no longer fashionable to poison the system with harmful ingredients. Bernarr Macfadden has shown how it is possible to provide palatable food based upon natural products such as milk, honey, and wheat. I believe that the food which is served today in his penny restaurants will be the basis of epicurean meals in the smartest banquet halls of the twenty-first century.

There will be enough wheat and wheat products to feed the entire world, including the teeming millions of China and India, now chronically on the verge of starvation. The earth is bountiful, and where her bounty fails, nitrogen drawn from the air will refertilize her womb. I developed a process for this purpose in 1900. It was perfected fourteen years later under the stress of war by German chemists.

Robots

Tesla’s work in robotics began in the late 1890s when he patented his remote-controlled boat, an invention that absolutely stunned onlookers at the 1898 Electrical Exhibition at Madison Square Garden.

At present we suffer from the derangement of our civilization because we have not yet completely adjusted ourselves to the machine age. The solution of our problems does not lie in destroying but in mastering the machine.

Innumerable activities still performed by human hands today will be performed by automatons. At this very moment scientists working in the laboratories of American universities are attempting to create what has been described as a ” thinking machine.” I anticipated this development.

I actually constructed ” robots.” Today the robot is an accepted fact, but the principle has not been pushed far enough. In the twenty-first century the robot will take the place which slave labor occupied in ancient civilization. There is no reason at all why most of this should not come to pass in less than a century, freeing mankind to pursue its higher aspirations.

Cheap Energy and the Management of Natural Resources

Long before the next century dawns, systematic reforestation and the scientific management of natural resources will have made an end of all devastating droughts, forest fires, and floods. The universal utilization of water power and its long-distance transmission will supply every household with cheap power and will dispense with the necessity of burning fuel. The struggle for existence being lessened, there should be development along ideal rather than material lines.

Tesla was a visionary whose many contributions to the world are being celebrated today more than ever. And while his idea of the perfect diet may have been a bit strange, he clearly understood many of the things that 21st century Americans would value (like clean air, clean food, and our “thinking machines”) as we stumble into the future.

This post originally appeared at Smithsonian.com.

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