The established car shipping industry in Emden could be a key factor in Tesla's interest in Lower Saxony.
The established car shipping industry in Emden could be a key factor in Tesla’s interest in Lower Saxony.

Tesla has been looking at the German region of Lower Saxony for a location for its next Gigafactory, according to reports from German news site Nordwest Zeitung.

The possible location for the European factory has been confirmed by the German minister of economics Bernd Althusmann, who welcomed the interest from the Californian car maker in Hanover on Thursday (European time).

“I would be delighted about the company’s commitment and the new jobs it will create in our country,” said Althusmann (translated from German).

With Tesla’s Shanghai factory all but complete, the next step for Tesla is to build a fourth factory in Europe to meet the demands of its market on the continent.

In June, CEO and founder Elon Musk said that Germany made sense as the location for the fourth Gigafactory during a Twitter conversation in which the CEO displayed a natural talent for the German language (or perhaps he just has a very good translator, who knows).

According to Nordwest Zeitung, Emden in the county of Emsland is the prime candidate under consideration, due in part to its proximity to the coast. While the minister would not confirm this to German media, the reasoning behind this choice is at least in part because of its importance to the German automotive shipping industry.

It is unknown when Tesla will make its final decision on a location for Gigafactory 4, however Althusmann says Lower Saxony, which has an established car industry is well suited.

“Lower Saxony is one of the world’s top regions of the automotive industry, which is also known to Tesla,” said Althusmann, adding that it is a “good location within the European transport network including port connections, a dynamic research landscape and renewable energies on the doorstep.”

Tesla’s European headquarters will however remain in the Netherlands (also confirmed by Musk via Twitter).

Musk said in March that the base version of the Model 3 – which was long promised at a $US35,000 price point ($A51,780 converted at today’s rates) and became available earlier this year before being relegated as an “off menu” item – would eventually make its way to Europe.

However this would be contingent on progress at the Shanghai Gigafactory, said Musk, who said at the time that the base model would be available in around 6 months, and China in 6-8 months.

In China, Shanghai’s completion date is creeping ever closer, with reports on Wednesday (Australian time) that Tesla global VP Grace Tao (Tao Lin) updated Chinese media on progress, adding that the area of Shanghai Linglang could offer opportunity for Tesla’s other interests.

Top image by Frisia Orientalis – Self-photographed, GFDL.

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