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Tesla Wants You to Know That It’s Good for California’s Economy, Not Just the Environment

Study credits Tesla with supplying 51,000 California jobs, paying more than $4 billion to workers

1 min read
Tesla Wants You to Know That It’s Good for California’s Economy, Not Just the Environment
Tesla CEO Elon Musk thinks California should be happy his company is located there.
Photo: Richard Drew

Tesla has been getting a bit of bad press lately: Its CEO Elon Muskberated analysts; its autopilot technology was implicated in crashes; delays in production of its new Model 3 vehicle have frustrated customers; and, most recently, that car failed to earn a recommendation from Consumer Reports.

So it’s not exactly a bad time for the company to release a study touting the good Tesla has done for California’s economy. The benefits include supporting more than 51,000 jobs for the year 2017. IHS Markit conducted the study; Tesla funded it.

The study considered not only Tesla’s direct spending in 2017, but how purchasing by Tesla filtered through the supply chain within the state. The study also took into account 2017 consumer spending by Tesla employees, mostly in Alameda County (where the Tesla factory is located) and Santa Clara County (where the company is headquartered).

The main takeaways, by the numbers:

  • 51,000 jobs in California. That number includes 20,189 people directly employed by Tesla and 31,424 additional jobs generated down the supply chain or by local consumer spending.  Santa Clara County grabbed 38.7 percent of that total; Alameda County 27.9 percent.

  • $2.1 billion paid to employees as wages and equity, along with $986 million paid to employees of direct and extended suppliers and another $923 million in salaries supported by that consumer spending.

  • $328 million in state and local taxes paid by Tesla itself, with another $345 million paid by those suppliers and companies benefiting from consumer spending.

The full report, breaking down the data by county and other factors, is available from IHS Markit [pdf].

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Chinese Joint Venture Will Begin Mass-Producing an Autonomous Electric Car

With the Robo-01, Baidu and Chinese carmaker Geely aim for a fully self-driving car

4 min read
A black car sits against a white backdrop decorated with Chinese writing. The car’s doors are open, like a butterfly’s wings. Two charging stations are on the car’s left; two men stand on the right.

The Robo-01 autonomous electric car shows off its butterfly doors at a reveal to the media in Beijing, in June 2022.

Tingshu Wang/Reuters/Alamy

In October, a startup called Jidu Automotive, backed by Chinese AI giant Baidu and Chinese carmaker Geely, officially released an autonomous electric car, the Robo-01 Lunar Edition. In 2023, the car will go on sale.

At roughly US $55,000, the Robo-01 Lunar Edition is a limited edition, cobranded with China’s Lunar Exploration Project. It has two lidars, a 5-millimeter-range radar, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and 12 high-definition cameras. It is the first vehicle to offer on-board, AI-assisted voice recognition, with voice response speeds within 700 milliseconds, thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8295 chip.

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