Joplin, Missouri is intent on landing Tesla’s proposed Cybertruck plant and it’s offering an estimated $1 billion package to the company. The city that attracted national attention when tornadoes hit Joplin in 2011 leaving more than 100 dead is back with a positive effort this time.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted in March that the company was scouting “locations for Cybertruck Gigafactory” in the central U.S.
So Joplin, Missouri, has since put together a package of what it claims are more than $1 billion in incentives and savings to lure that factory, according to a website it built to convince Tesla. The package includes a discount on a 1,042-acre site with retail access, as well as a slew of state and local tax credits according to CNBC.
The president of the Joplin Chamber of Commerce, Toby Teeter, tweeted the site at Musk this past week.
“We’ve had communication with Tesla and we submitted a formal application that exceeds their site specifications,” Teeter said in an email.
The state is also emphasizing the low cost of labor in the region, favorably comparing the city’s median hourly wage of $27.86 to higher wages in Nashville, Tennessee, and Austin, Texas. The website also emphasizes talent: It says that Joplin has leading battery manufacturers already in the region and and more than 150 battery engineers in the city.
Tesla has received incentives from cities and states to build facilities in the past. It received about $1 billion in subsidies to build its so-called “Gigafactory 2” for solar panels in Buffalo, New York. It also operates a battery plant near Reno, Nevada — the original “Gigafactory” — for which it also received over $1 billion in incentives.
Technology companies regularly receive incentives and bids to place facilities in a certain region or city. But the strategy of publicly soliciting competing bids from municipalities has come under more scrutiny after Amazon pulled out of a planned New York campus last year after local politicians said that the city was paying too much.
Tesla revealed its Cybertruck electric pickup truck last November. Musk said last fall that the company has over 250,000 pre-orders for the vehicle, which starts at $39,000. Tesla didn’t immediately return an email asking for comment on Joplin’s solicitation.