When Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) first announced its plans for the "Gigafactory," the company listed four states as possible homes for the world's largest lithium-ion battery factory: Arizona, Texas, Nevada, and New Mexico.
One month later, no final decision has been made, but one state is making the strongest push.
Currently, state legislators are pushing a bill that will allow Tesla to sell its electric automobiles directly to consumers, a business model that is banned in numerous states. Currently, automakers must sell their vehicles through dealerships in Arizona, and that's a business practice Tesla refuses to adhere to.
Tesla operates dozens of stores and galleries across the United States where customers can learn about and purchase the Tesla Model S sedan directly from Tesla employees. In states where direct-auto sales are banned, customers visit Tesla galleries and then purchase the vehicle online or in another state.
By actively pushing a new legislation that caters to Tesla's preferred business model, the state is attempting to restore any goodwill its current dealership-friendly legislation may have displaced.
"We wanted to send a message that Arizona is open for business," Arizona State Representative Warren Peterson told CNN.
The mayors of several Arizona cities are also getting in on the wooing of Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Mesa Mayor Scott Smith has penned a formal letter inviting Musk to the city to explore the possibilities of building the Gigafactory there. Smith describes Mesa as having a "skilled workforce, business-friendly tax structure, and quality education system." Details of any tax incentives have not yet been released.
Tucson's Mayor Jonathan Rothschild has also chimed in.
"We are the home to the Mars exploratory mission at the University of Arizona and known nationally as the Solar City," Rothschild said. "I think Tesla will feel right at home in Tucson."
Clearly Tucson is attempting to appeal to Musk's interest in space exploration and solar energy, as he is the CEO and Founder of SpaceX and SolarCity Corp. (Nasdaq: SCTY).
Landing the Tesla Gigafactory would be a huge prize for any of the four states in the running. Here's why Arizona is making its desire so apparent…