European Tesla Gigafactory to be built near Berlin, Musk announces

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The electric car manufacturer Tesla will build its European factory in the vicinity of Berlin. Tesla boss Elon Musk surprisingly announced this decision at the presentation of the “Golden Steering Wheel” of “Auto Bild” and “Bild am Sonntag” in Berlin. In response to questions, he said that the plant was to be built near the planned Capital Airport BER. For the time being, he did not give more details.

Brandenburg’s Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke (SPD) said: “This is excellent news for our country. We have been campaigning for this for some time in intensive talks and with good arguments. I am happy that Elon Musk has chosen Brandenburg as location”.

Green electricity, close to Berlin – and plenty of space

According to Woidke, the planned factory will also come to Brandenburg because of th availability of renewable energies. This was a decisive advantage in talks with Musk. “Here we have a combination of climate protection an economic strength, and that must be the signal to the whole world”. Woidke also mentioned the Berlin metropolitan region with with its high density of science and research institutions – and: “We have space.”

According to the head of government, the state has been negotiating with Tesla for five to six months. “We offered various locations, and Tesla then made the location selection,” Woidke said. The settlement “represents one of the largest investments in the history of our country”.

“We are 95 percent through the pre-contractual talks, but there are a few questions to be clarified,” said the prime minister. Tesla had been promised usual subsidies under EU state aid law. When asked whether there were any reliability risks, he said with a view to Musk: “I got to know him as a very reliable person”.

Up to 7000 jobs expected in Brandenburg

Berlin’s Business Senator Ramona Pop expects the planned factory to create thousands of new jobs. “There are currently about 6000, 7000 jobs under discussion for the factory in Brandenburg,” she commented. In addition, there would be “a few hundred, if not a few thousand” new jobs in Berlin.

Tesla is not only a pure car manufacturer, but also active in the areas of software, innovation and research. “Berlin is, of course, the right location.” According to the Green politician, Tesla can count on subsidies for setting up its production facilities. “Every company that settles here or expands here and creates new jobs is entitled to economic development incentives.

“The proximity to Berlin and to the new BER airport was therefore important for Tesla,” said a spokeswoman for the administration with a view to the skilled workers in the capital. Tesla is also planning a development and design centre in Berlin.

As the ‘Welt’ reported, Musk surprisingly came to the award ceremony. Tesla had long been looking for a location for a “Gigafactory” for the production of batteries and vehicles in Europe. Musk had already said before that Germany had good chances. Tesla had only recently stated that they were on the home straight and wanted to announce the location by the end of the year. However, other German states – including Saarland and Lower Saxony – seemed more likley candidates. Berlin was not on the radar.

Start of operations until late 2021

The factory in Germany is expected to go into operation at the end of 2021. It will produce the currently most important Tesla Model 3 vehicle for the European market as well as the future compact SUV Model Y designed on its basis. With the Model 3, which is currently available in Germany at a price of over 44,000 euros, Tesla intends to open up a broader market.

Tesla built the first Gigafactory in the desert in the US state of Nevada, which so far only produces batteries. Only recently, a factory was completed in China, also for the production of the Model 3.

In Europe, Tesla has so far assembled several vehicles from the more expensive S and X model series in the Netherlands. Musk, however, repeatedly made it clear that he sees the future of the company primarily in Model 3 and Model Y. The company is a pioneer in electromobility, but in the face of expensive and delayed production starts for new models, it has repeatedly struggled with massive financial problems.

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