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Could Tesla's Gigafactory Site Announcement Come Thursday?

Could Tesla's Gigafactory Site Announcement Come Thursday?

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) could be gearing up to make an important announcement as early as Thursday -- when it announces earnings -- about its massive lithium-ion battery Gigafactory.

Reno In The Crosshairs

Forbes suggested Tesla could announce the future gigafactory's site as Reno, pointing to a Jalopnik story.

Greentechmedia even sent someone to the Reno Tahoe Industrial Center to take pictures of 50 earthmovers recently and mysteriously gathered at the location. The latest news comes after weeks of what Jalopnik described as “radio silence.”

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Big Cat Word Games

The work being done by the earthmovers is called “Project Tiger,” according to people at the scene. Forbes noted that lithium-ion batteries are often abbreviated as “Li-ion” or even “Li-on,” putting an interesting twist on the fact the permits at the site were pulled by “Project Tiger.”

Pizza, Anyone?

Despite the convenient play on words, Teslamondo provided at least one alternative in quoting an online comment suggesting “Project Tiger” was really a permit related to a Gigi’s pizza factory.

Official confirmation was not possible, since the company behind the permit does not have to be revealed when the activity is restricted to site clearing.

California Not Giving Up

Website Bidnessetc reported that despite concerns about potential environmental slowdowns, the California legislature proposed another bill designed to entice Tesla to stay home for the battery factory.

Governor Jerry Brown last month approved a law that would provide Tesla with property tax credits of a reported $450 million over 15 years if it decides to build the Gigafactory in California.

Panasonic Is Onboard

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Tesla and Japan’s Panasonic Corp. (OTC: PCRFY) had agreed to a Panasonic investment of $200 to $300 million in Tesla’s Gigafactory.

An official announcement was expected by the end of the month. In May, Panasonic signed a letter of intent to join the battery factory, but doubts arose as a result of restructuring at the Japanese company.

Thursday’s Earnings Report

Tesla will report second-quarter earnings after the market close Thursday. There was speculation the company might have more to say about the Gigafactory site selection at that time.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in June that talks (about the factory) were in “quite advanced” stages, and that the company was meeting on a daily basis with officials from Panasonic.

From an official standpoint, the company has said only that it would announce the location of the Gigafactory “later this year.”

At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco  had no position in any mentioned securities.


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