Elon Musk Talks With German Government About A Possible Battery Plant In The Country

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Elon Musk Talks With German Government About A Possible Battery Plant In The Country
German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel (left) and Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk (right), taking part in a seminar hosted by Gabriel at the Economy Ministry in Berlin

There has been plenty of buzz surrounding Tesla Motors Inc for the past months. There was that intense news regarding the release of autopilot system for driving its cars. Also back in August, Model S variant P85D has set new benchmark when it was given 103 out of 100 in an evaluation by Consumer Reports test track in East Haddam, Connecticut.

Model S P85D has managed to shake more established German cars  such as Volkswagen’s Audi and Porsche, BMW and Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz. At the Frankfurt Auto Show earlier in September, Audi unveiled its R18 e-tron quattro SUV. Porsche also showed a prototype of its first battery-powered sports car. Although neither of these models will be available before 2018.

Musk sees the strong potential of Tesla batteries and very optimistic that it’s the future. There has been a talk that Tesla will build a battery plant in India and also in China on top of its Gigafactory, a massive battery plant currently being built outside of Reno, Nevada. Tesla is also in discussion with the German government about a possible battery plant in the country. Last Tuesday, 17 November, German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel said, “We’re in talks with the Tesla CEO about a possible battery plant. I assume he will want public funds.” Back in July the Economy Minister made a speech during a session at Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, in Berlin. He stated, “Germany needs incentives to promote sales of electric vehicles. Gabriel had a meeting with Musk prior that session. Musk said he sees Germany as the next most important market for his company next to United States. Germany will be Tesla’s key market for its household battery-storage systems.

A battery plant in Germany would open a new front in Tesla’s competition with luxury car manufacturers BMW AG and former shareholder and Mercedes parent Daimler AG, which makes batteries in Kamenz in Eastern Germany and plans to expand production. A new plant would also be a sign of more aggressive expansion as Tesla prepares to open its Gigafactory.

Tesla’s Munich-based spokeswoman, Kathrin Schira, however wrote in an email “Tesla has no current plans to build a battery factory in Germany.” She didn’t make any comments regarding the talks with the government.


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