Tulsa May Be Next Location For Tesla Factory

Monday, May 18th 2020, 8:45 pm

TULSA, Okla. - David Jankowsky's Tulsa based company, Francis Energy, has been installing electric vehicle charging stations throughout Oklahoma for several years.

"Every 50 miles in Oklahoma has a supercharger like this. No other state in the country can say that," said Jankowsky.

Jankowsky said they now have 225 stations across the state, something he said is appealing for electric vehicle manufacturers.

"We're very hopeful that gives incentive to car manufacturers to come and set up facilities in Oklahoma," he said.

One of those could be Tesla.

Recent reports claim the company has narrowed down their nationwide search for a location to build a new assembly plant to either Tulsa or Austin.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the factory will be for their new Cybertruck and could be bigger than their California plant.

Jankowsky said he's not surprised they're interested.

"Oklahoma has the cheapest electricity in the country, some of the cheapest, some of the cheapest land, it really is a great place to come and build a factory,” said Jankwosky. “Overlaying all of that is we are number one in charging infrastructure."

Jankwosky said even if Tesla ultimately decides to build in Austin, Tulsa could still attract other electric vehicle manufacturers in the future, as companies like Ford and Chevy build their own versions.

“If it's not Tesla, it'll be someone else," he said.

Several state and local officials have commented on the possibility of Tesla choosing Tulsa.

The following are their statements.

Mike Neal, President and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber:

“We at the Tulsa Regional Chamber are always thrilled at the prospect of a major new employer coming to northeast Oklahoma. Companies like Google and Amazon have already seen how much our region has to offer in terms of innovation and attitude. We have the land, infrastructure and workforce that could support a Gigafactory. Elon Musk has said he wants a Cybertruck facility based in the center of the country. We can go one better than that: Google ‘Center of the Universe’ and you’ll find it’s Tulsa. We are a region of dreamers and doers, and we are home to people with unabashedly big ideas. We are confident we could be a tremendous home to a company such as Tesla as well.”

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum:

“While I cannot comment on potential projects, it is clear that Tesla and Tulsa were forged in the same spirit. Both founded by pioneers who dreamt big and made it happen. Both trying to change the world with a new kind of energy. Both investing big in what matters most: people. Tulsa is a city that doesn’t stifle entrepreneurs - we revere them. And as Tesla continues to rapidly change transportation all around the world, I can’t imagine a better place for them to further that important work than Green Country.”

Governor Kevin Stitt:

“To the press, we can't comment on any pending proposals. 
To Elon Musk and Tesla, the people of Oklahoma love our trucks, we love our rockets and we would love to partner with you here in our great state. As a Tulsan myself, I can tell you that confusing the names Tulsa and Tesla has happened more than once, so it would only be appropriate to have a Tesla factory right here.
Oklahoma is open for business and our world-class workforce, business-friendly policies and caring people make us an excellent choice for companies worldwide. When you consider our state’s central location – providing access to a wide customer base – and Tulsa’s nationally-recognized quality of life and strong manufacturing workforce, we would make a great long-term partner for a world-class company like Tesla.
When you factor in our state’s automotive engineer workforce tax credit, it makes even more financial sense for Tesla to set up shop in Tulsa.”