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June comes and goes with no word on Tesla’s ‘gigafactory’

elonone
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Tesla Motors Corp. won’t be breaking ground on  its $5 billion battery factory in June after all.

That target passed without incident Monday when the electric car company failed to announce where it would begin preliminary work on its “gigafactory,” which is expected to employ up to 6,500 workers.

CEO Elon Musk raised the June timeline in a conference call with analysts in early May in conjunction with the release of the company’s first-quarter earnings.

“We expect to break ground on the first of those sites probably next month,” Musk said at that time. “Shortly thereafter, maybe a month or two later, we’ll break ground on a second one.”

Tesla did not respond to a Journal request for comment Monday

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company has narrowed its decision to five states — including New Mexico — but has said it may break ground in multiple states to ensure last-minute complications don’t delay the production schedule for the batteries that power its vehicles. The other states are Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas.

Getting the factory built on time is essential to the company’s plans to begin selling a new sedan in 2017 for $35,000, about half as much as today‘s Tesla S model.

Tesla has said the 10 million-square-foot plant would produce enough batteries by 2020 to power 500,000 vehicles a year, which would make it the world’s largest manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries.

If New Mexico were to be chosen, Albuquerque officials have said the plant would be built somewhere in the metro.

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