Tesla Motors is planning to invest $35 million to build a new 150,000 square foot automobile assembly plant in Albuquerque, N.M., adding 400 jobs to the area, according to an announcement made Tuesday by Governor Richardson.
Facility construction is expected to begin by April 2007.
The 150,000 square foot facility will be used to manufacture Tesla's all-electric “WhiteStar” car, a four-door, five-passenger sports sedan, and will be the company’s first assembly facility in the U.S.
Approximately 10,000 cars will be produced annually, with the first cars scheduled to be ready by the fall of 2009. The sedans will cost $50,000 for the standard model or $65,000 for a premium model.
Tesla is offering wages between $24,000 and $100,000 a year for the 400 new employees.
Governor Richardson has asked the state's General Services Division, and other appropriate agencies, to consider purchasing 100 WhiteStar vehicles for the state fleet over a two year period as a demonstration of New Mexico's commitment to being a Clean Energy State.
The Governor has also asked Tesla Motors Chairman Elon Musk and Tesla Motors CEO Martin Eberhard to help New Mexico develop legislation for the 2008 session to encourage, through incentives, the purchase of clean energy vehicles, including hybrid and electric vehicles.
Tesla Motors will start producing its first vehicle, a zero-emission two seat Roadster, at a facility in England owned by Lotus Cars later this year.Tesla, headquartered in San Carlos, Calif., has more than 160 employees at facilities in California, Michigan, Taiwan and the UK.