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Daily Debrief: Tesla and California commit to green car tech

CNET's Kara Tsuboi and Wayne Cunningham talk about Tesla Motors' decision to build its manufacturing plant in Northern California--a win for both the company and the state.

The fact that both California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom have added their names to the Tesla Roadster waiting list shows a serious Golden State commitment to the green technology behind the $100,000 sports car. On Monday, the company returned some of the love by announcing that it would be building its sedan manufacturing plant somewhere in Northern California. According to CNET Car Tech Senior Editor Wayne Cunningham, whom I spoke with in the Daily Debrief, this move is a win for both the company and the state.

Tesla Motors is currently headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area and, logistically, it just makes sense to keep its manufacturing close by (versus New Mexico, which was originally listed as a plant location). For the state, this decision will provide more green-tech jobs and reiterates its position as a green-tech leader. California has some of the most ambitious emissions legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020. Tesla doesn't plan on rolling out the second-generation cars until 2010, but in the state's eyes, the move to keep the plant local is a significant step in the right direction.