Elon Musk
Tesla battery factory
Tesla battery factory

The San Joaquin Valley city of Stockton has had it rough. It's been plagued with soaring home foreclosures, a municipal bankruptcy and 10%-plus unemployment. Now, locals are hoping that their luck might change. Their guarded optimism centers on California's effort to woo a much-sought-after plant to make batteries to power electric cars built by Tesla Motors Inc. The Golden State was not even in the running until a few months ago, when the Palo Alto company expanded its candidate list that once included only Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas. In May, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk called California a "long shot" for the massive, 6,500-worker...