Faraday Future skips over Georgia, picks Nevada for car plant

Faraday Future Factory

Faraday Future’s planned auto factory in Nevada. Source: Faraday Future

Faraday Future, the mysterious Chinese-backed electric car company, said Thursday it has picked Nevada for its first factory, ending a search that the company said had included Georgia.

Faraday said on its website it has picked a site near Las Vegas for factory that the startup company said will employ 4,500 and cost $1 billion in its first phase. Faraday had previously said it also was scouting California and Louisiana, but ultimately picked the same state where it chief rival Tesla chose for a manufacturing facility known as the “gigafactory.”

The Associated Press reported that the Nevada site is contingent on a state incentive package of as yet unknown value. The AP obtained a letter to Nevada lawmakers from Jia Yueting, the Chinese media billionaire, who had previously been linked as the company’s owner.

“We plan to revolutionize the automobile industry by creating an integrated, intelligent mobility system that protects the earth and improves the living environment of mankind,” Yueting wrote.

Faraday has not publicly shown its vehicle concept, but is expected to do so next month.

The company says it has 400 employees and occupies a former Nissan U.S. sales office near Los Angeles.

Tesla set off an incentives sweepstakes with its search for a new factory and netted an estimated $1.3 billion incentives package for its manufacturing facility near Reno, Nev.

With Faraday’s headquarters in California and its Chinese backing, a plant in the Pacific Time Zone made the most logistical sense.

Georgia has aggressively courted automotive companies this year, landing the U.S. headquarters of Mercedes-Benz and coming up second in the race for a Volvo factory.

Georgia hasn’t been shy about using incentives, offering Kia Motors hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits, grants, land, worker training and infrastructure improvements.

Georgia’s offer to Volvo has never been publicly disclosed. But the state pumped millions into its economic development grant program to sweeten its offer to the Swedish automaker, and that money remains available for other prospects.

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