Tesla is to build a gigafactory for electric vehicles in Germany, creating a cluster of battery and electric vehicle design and manufacturing expertise. The plant, just outside Berlin, “will build batteries, powertrains and vehicles, starting with Model Y,” said Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla.
This differs from Tesla in the US where there is a separate battery gigafactory built and run with Panasonic in Nevada.
The German plant will be based at the nearby town of Grünheide with a design and engineering centre in Berlin. The project will create an estimated 10,000 jobs and is expected to be up and running by late 2021.
"Tesla's decision to establish a major battery and car factory here in Germany is a wonderful success for Germany as a business location," said Peter Altmaier, Economic Affairs and Energy Minister for the German government. "In the past few months, there was intense competition between various European countries. The fact that Germany got the nod is an important and very positive signal. It is a milestone in terms of electro-mobility and battery-cell production. This is complete proof that the German government's strategy of investing in these future-oriented sectors and prioritizing them is a correct one. We expect to become a major intentional centre in these areas in years to come."
"We've been talking to Tesla for around three years," says Robert Hermann, CEO of Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI). "Tesla's decision reflects how attractive Germany is as a place of investment and technology, and its central location will make it possible for the company to expand quickly into further European Union markets."
German carmakers and automotive parts suppliers hold a third of all the patents in the automotive sector worldwide. The industry spent €25.7bn on R&D last year.
Several other battery and supercapacitor gigafactories are being set up in Germany from companies such as BMZ, Northvolt, CATL and Skeleton Technologies.