Plans for Tesla Motors to build a 500-worker assembly plant in San Jose for the production of the Model S Sedan seem to be dead. The electric-car maker failed to secure $100 million in venture financing and now feels that the $450 million it hopes to get from government loan programs would be better used if it retrofits an existing building rather than building a new one.
According to company spokeswoman Rachel Konrad, Tesla could still relocate its headquarters, r&d facility and powertrain assembly shop to San Jose from its current site in San Carlos. The move will create an additional 525 jobs.
Konrad said that Tesla has “not abandoned San Jose” but is now looking in the Bay Area as well as abandoned aerospace facilities in Southern California. She said that Tesla Motors still plans to have the Model S Sedan on the market by 2012.
The car is expected to make its debut sometime around this month or March according to previous reports. Powered by a lithium-ion battery pack, the Tesla Model S Sedan will provide 240 miles in zero-emissions driving.