Tesla in Tulsa?

It sounds pretty good. And, after Friday’s news, even plausible. The Associated Press reported that Tulsa and Austin are finalists for the electric car company’s new U.S. assembly plant.

Tesla has said the plant will be larger than its factory in Fremont, California, which employs 10,000 workers.

That’s big.

Gov. Kevin Stitt and Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum issued statements Friday that did nothing to confirm or deny the report. That’s to be expected when such a big deal is on the line.

Don’t be fooled: State and local leaders began pitching Oklahoma as the best home for Tesla’s new Cybertruck Gigafactory as soon as Elon Musk let it be known he was looking for a place to build in America’s heartland.

Musk tweeted on March 10: “Scouting locations for Cybertruck Gigafactory. Will be central USA.”

Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce Sean Kouplen tweeted Musk back the same day: “My name is Sean Kouplen and I am Secretary of Commerce for Oklahoma. The electric vehicle capital of the world (200+ charging stations), lowest cost biz state, 2nd lowest utility cost, amazing quality of life and best labor force. Please meet with me and our Gov!” 

Kouplen then took to Facebook to encourage Oklahomans to retweet his message to Musk: “Please share with all your friends and let’s send him thousands of Tweets encouraging him to come to Oklahoma.”

And then there’s the sleek website of unknown origin with a not-so-family-friendly name that does its best to grab viewers’ attention and make the case for Tulsa.

And the Twitter account by the same name.

Even Car and Driver magazine has written about the colorfully named social media campaign.

So stay tuned. Surely, the social media campaign will only intensify now that the possible finalists for the Tesla factory have been revealed.


Gallery: Phase 2 of reopening Oklahoma began Friday; a look at the numbers

Kevin Canfield 918-645-5452


Twitter: @aWorldofKC

Staff Writer

Kevin Canfield has covered local government in Tulsa for nearly two decades. He also has reported on downtown development, zoning and community planning.

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