Construction of Tesla’s $5 billion Gigafactory is in full swing.
Though the massive battery factory is not even close to opening its doors, the effect on Reno’s economy and public image can already be felt.
“Tesla Motors Inc.’s $5 billion ‘Gigafactory’ may be the best thing to happen to northern Nevada since the silver rush of the 1850s and the gaming boom a century later,” Bloomberg’s Dana Hull wrote.
Hull added that the Gigafactory provided a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to diversify the economy and transcend Reno’s image as a downmarket Las Vegas.”
According to local officials, the factory — which will aim to supply Tesla’s growing stable of models with lithium-ion batteries — has generated interest from a slew of investors for Reno.
Companies such as Apple and Amazon have both recently opened facilities in Reno, Bloomberg reports.
In addition, Tesla’s partner in the factory, Panasonic, is investing heavily in the factory. According to Automotive News, Panasonic should cover 30% to 40% of the Gigafactory’s $5 billion price tag.
One industry observer told Bloomberg that Tesla could do for Reno what BMW did for Spartanburg.
In the 1990s, BMW established its new North American production facility in the South Carolina town. In the decades since, the region has becomes a hub for automotive development and production.
In total, the Nevada state government expects the Gigafactory to create as many as 9,000 jobs for the region.