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Tesla Picks Silicon Valley For Electric-Car Plant

The company expects to eventually employ about 1,000 people at the location, where the first vehicles are set to roll off the assembly line in late 2010.




The Tesla Roadster ships with a charging station kit that can be installed in a home garage by an electrician.
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Tesla Motors on Wednesday announced that it has chosen San Jose, Calif., as the location for the electric-car company's new campus, which will include the company's headquarters and manufacturing and research and development facilities.

Construction of the $250 million, 89-acre campus is scheduled to begin in the summer of next year. The company expects to eventually employ about 1,000 people at the location, where the first vehicles are set to roll off the assembly line in late 2010.

The announcement by Tesla president and chief executive Ze'ev Drori brought immediate praise from politicians, including California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"California's ground-breaking leadership on climate change is creating a market for clean technology that will not only change the world, but continue to help bring innovative companies and jobs to our state," Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

The Tesla Roadster ships with a charging station kit that can be installed in a home garage by an electrician. There is an optional mobile charging kit that allows charging from any electrical outlet.

Tesla chose San Jose because it's in the Silicon Valley region, where there's a high concentration of highly skilled engineers, major tech companies, research institutions and other support infrastructure, Drori said. In addition, San Jose offers location incentives for companies working on technology to protect the environment.

"Big deals like this happen when both parties have something significant to gain," Drori said in a statement. "Locating Tesla’s headquarters, manufacturing, and R&D in San Jose will allow us to proceed with minimum disruptions and virtually no dislocations to employees."

Tesla said this year that it would locate its corporate headquarters and manufacturing plant for the Model S, an all-electric, zero-emission, five-passenger luxury sedan, in California, which is a major market for electric and hybrid vehicles. San Jose is 20 miles from Tesla's current headquarters in San Carlos, Calif.

An analysis conducted by San Jose's Office of Economic Development estimates that Tesla's first-phase manufacturing facility would initially create about 500 jobs. The second phase R&D site and headquarters relocation is "conservatively" estimated to bring an additional 525 jobs by 2012, the city said. Construction of the new campus is projected to create 700 construction jobs.