The German ministry of economics has given the green light for Tesla to start “preliminary measures” for its planned electric car battery factory near Berlin.
Tesla is currently building its fourth electric car factory in Germany where it plans to make the Model Y electric crossover, as well as 4680 batteries at what Tesla boss Elon Musk hopes may eventually become the largest battery factory in the world.
According to German news site BZ Berlin, Tesla’s plans along with those of several other cell manufacturers were submitted by the ministry to the EU Commission.
As the news agency reported on Thursday (Europe time), minister for economics, Peter Altmeier, bundled Tesla’s project in a submission to Brussels that could result in billions of dollars of grant support payments from the federal government.
As reported in Clean Energy Wire in 2020, Altmeier flagged the potential funding for Tesla and other battery makers if “research and development as well as value creation” took place in Germany.
While the funding is not yet guaranteed, Tesla and the other battery makers now have approval to get started at their own risk.
“We expect the state aid approval by the Commission soon,” Altmaier’s spokeswoman told BZ Berlin.
“Tesla and other participants were allowed to start preliminary measures at their request,” the ministry was quoted as saying, “which means that companies can start preparatory work on their projects at their own risk.”
Before Tesla can start building its battery factory however, it must gain approval from Brandenburg’s State Environment Agency after a community consultation process.
Last Monday, Tesla invited people to apply for jobs at its upcoming Texas and Berlin battery factories, sharing a video on Twitter.
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.