RENO — Having landed Tesla Motors’ battery Gigafactory, Nevada appears to have reeled in another factory project from a huge California-based automotive startup.
This time, it’s electric car company Faraday Future, which wants to bring a proposed $1 billion factory to North Las Vegas, the incorporated city north of Sin City. Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval announced Thursday that the state has put together a $335 million incentives package to lure the automaker.
The deal would bring 4,500 direct jobs to southern Nevada with an average wage of $22 per hour as well as 9,000 indirect jobs,state officials estimate.
Not much is known yet about Faraday. It is based in a Los Angeles suburb, has several former Tesla executives in top positions and appears to be backed by a Chinese billionaire. It is expected to show its first model at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month.
The governor made the announcement during a news conference in Las Vegas about potentially bringing the startup to the state in a similar move as the 2014 deal that brought Tesla’s Gigafactory to Storey County, just outside Reno. Another special session of the Legislature will be required to approve the incentives.
Lawmakers have to approve the move via a special session before Faraday officially receives any incentives. Legislators briefed on the situation said the session would likely be next week.
Sandoval said he viewed the deal as another step forward in diversifying the state’s economy.
“This is a new era for Nevada. We are standing tall,” he said. “With each passing week our economy not only improves, it involves into something new and unique.”
The same legislation used to bring Tesla to the state will be amended, creating a separate tier for companies similar in size to Faraday making them eligible for incentives not quite as large as Tesla, Hill said.
The special session on Faraday will not be a “rubber stamp” for the company which, unlike Tesla, hasn’t brought a finished product to market, state lawmakers said.
“There are lots of question about how exactly the abatements are going to work and the types of investments that are going to come to Nevada,” said Assemblywoman Teresa Benitez-Thompson, D-Reno. “There has to be public discourse over this and that’s what we’ll have to do as legislators next week to figure out what the skin in the game is for Nevada.”
The $335 million deal to bring the proposed 3 million square-foot facility to Southern Nevada includes around $215 million in tax incentives and $120 million in infrastructure spending.
Faraday agreed to invest $1 billion into the state to qualify for the abatement, Hill said. Faraday will pay taxes into a trust fund that will be rebated once they reach the $1 billion investment threshold.
The company also agreed to invest $1 million in K-12 education over six years beginning in 2018. How that money will be spent was not released.
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