PHOENIX - The state of Arizona lands a massive electric truck manufacturing plant. Buckeye will be the new home to the Nikola Motor Company, which will be bringing a lot of jobs and cash flow into the state.
This is a big win for Arizona, as the Grand Canyon State beat out 30 other locations, in eight other states.
"Incredible engineering schools, some of the largest schools in the country. The workforce is huge, four-and-a-half million people here. There is space, and there's good weather year round to manufacture," said Trevor Milton, CEO of Nikola Motor Company, as he listed a few of the reasons the company chose Arizona.
Nikola Motor Company designs and manufactures hydrogen-electric vehicles. Think of it as the next generation of semi-trucks. They feature all of the most advanced technology. While the trucks are not even in production yet, the company has a pre-order for 8,000 of them.
For Arizona, the company plans to hire 2,000 workers, Construction on the manufacturing facility will begin by the end of 2019. It's estimated the plant will bring more than $1 billion in capital investment to the region by 2024.
The new 500 acre, one million square foot facility will be located in Buckeye near Sun Valley Parkway and the future Wintersburg Parkway.
"We've agreed to wave their building permit fees, and we will be rebating a portion of about 50% of the construction sales tax generated by this project," said David Roderique, Economic Development Director of the City of Buckeye. "These are both performance-based things, so we're not out any money if nothing happens."
The Utah-based motor company says Arizona has the workforce to support their growth and a governor that was an entrepreneur himself.
Among the reasons for picking Buckeye: the company says it liked Arizona's pro-business environment, engineering schools and educated workforce.
Gov. Doug Ducey made the announcement Tuesday morning and sent out a series of tweets, including: "Thank you Nikola for choosing Arizona."
According to the Commerce Authority, Nikola is eligible for up to $46.5 million in grants and tax credits. Some of that money is tied to employment and job training and dependent on Nikola reaching certain benchmarks.
All involved with the major project said it's a win-win for the state, for the City of Buckeye, and all the surrounding areas.
"Anytime we see a manufacturing project like this, we like to see those coming to Arizona, because it's not just that manufacturer, it's their whole supply chain that looks at Arizona," said Paul Hughes with the Arizona Commerce Authority.
Truck production at the plant is expected to begin in 2021. The company says it will be one of the largest manufacturing facilities dedicated to the next generation of semi-trucks.