That was the topic of discussion when I went on Bloomberg today. A few reasons I think it is Nevada’s to lose:
- Nevada is geographically close to Tesla’s Fremont CA plant. Northern Nevada is on a quick direct Train route.
- Northern Nevada also is the US’s only meaningful Lithium mine. Another huge deposit is located in near by Wyoming.
- Nevada’s energy prices are higher than New Mexico or Arizona but still relatively low. Tesla however plans to use Solar and wind power, both of which northern Nevada has in spades
- Texas won’t let Tesla sell cars direct to customers in the state. Arizona can’t go a year without trying to pass some crazy laws against gays, immigrants or other minorities.
- Nevada has low taxes and pro-corporate laws.
- Elon Musk likes going to nearby Burning Man
As for the cost of Li-ion batteries, Lithium is just a small bit. Cobalt and other materials are much more costly components.