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).
Germany is a leading choice for Europe. Perhaps on the German-French border makes sense, near the Benelux countries
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 19, 2018
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.
Base Model 3 available in Europe in ~6 months, Asia 6 to 8 months. Latter contingent on Shanghai Gigafactory. Country-specific taxes & import duties mean price may be 25% or more above US number.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 1, 2019
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.
Tesla Global VP Grace Tao also said in the interview: ”Tesla is not just a car company, but also a high-tech company, & there may be other expansions (different field). Shanghai Lingang has enough space and structure for Tesla's dream in China.” $TSLA #Tesla #China #TeslaChina pic.twitter.com/hRWICXN9DI
— Vincent (@vincent13031925) August 20, 2019
Top image by Frisia Orientalis – Self-photographed, GFDL.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.