Tesla to open new headquarters in Palo Alto


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It's a construction zone right now, but by the end of the year, three buildings will become the corporate home for Tesla Motors and the site of a new power train assembly facility that is being financed by a federal energy loan.

It's a vote of confidence that Silicon Valley is the place to be as the zero emission vehicle industry takes off.

Tesla has decided it wants to be near Stanford and among other clean tech start-ups to build its electric power train components. Tesla will be making these components not just for its own brand of electric cars, but also to sell to other automakers.

Eventually between 600 and 650 Tesla employees will work at the Stanford Research Park. The three buildings it's in the process of remodeling were once used by Hewlett Packard and Agilent Technologies.

Over time, Tesla's chief technical officer will need to hire 100 to 200 more people.

"One of the key things is just demonstrate excellence in this field and a real passion for working either on electric vehicles in particular or renewable energy, and mainly we're recruiting technical and engineering talent," said Tesla CTO J.B. Straubel.

Palo Alto offered no special incentives to attract Tesla.

Councilmember Patrick Burt pointed out Stanford Research Park was a thriving manufacturing facility in the 50's and 60's. Tesla will bring that back.

"It was where Hewlett Packard and Varian and Watkins-Johnson and many of the founding companies of Silicon Valley really grew up, right here in the Research Park. Now the clean tech field is not only bringing back the R&D but this is a great example of bringing back true manufacturing jobs," said Burt. Tesla has already delivered almost 700 of its head-turning roadsters and a sedan is on the horizon. "We're under construction now on some of the tenant improvements, and we'll be moving the first people over in just a few months. Hopefully by the end of the year we should have everything under one roof," said Straubel.

Tesla has not announced yet where it's going to assemble its next model, the sedan.

We're told it will not be here, but it will be some place else in California. That announcement is still six or more weeks away.

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