Elon Musk turns back on Britain as Tesla Gigafactory to be built in Germany

14th November 2019 / United Kingdom
Elon Musk ditches Britain as Tesla Gigafactory to be built in Germany

Tesla boss and serial entrepreneur Elon Musk has revealed that the firm’s new European Gigafactory battery facility will be built in Germany on the outskirts of Berlin and that Britain was not considered due to Brexit uncertainty. Speaking at Auto Express’s sister title Auto Bild’s Golden Steering Wheel Awards, Musk also revealed that a European research and development base was also planned for Germany, in addition to the new battery manufacturing plant.


Brexit uncertainty made it too risky to put a Gigafactory in the UK,” Musk said. Brexit also had something to do with Musk’s change of heart over the R&D centre as well. Back in 2014, he told Auto Express that he planned to build an R&D base in the UK. Those plans have now been shelved.

Musk used his appearance at The Golden Steering Wheel Awards, where he was collecting an Award for the Tesla Model 3 – the current Auto Express Car of the Year – to make his announcements.

Some of the best cars in the world are made in Germany, everyone knows that German engineering is outstanding,” said Musk. “That’s part of the reason why we’re locating our Gigafactory Europe in Germany. We are also going to create an engineering and design centre in Berlin.

The Gigafactory Europe will be Tesla’s fourth battery plant. The first is in Reno Nevada, with a second due in Buffalo, New York. The third is nearing completion near Shanghai in China. The European plant is set to be sited near Berlin’s upcoming new airport on the outskirts of the city.

The Gigafactory will be completely separate from Tesla’s existing European headquarters and final assembly plant in Tilburg, Netherlands. It will manufacture batteries, battery packs, powertrains, and fully-assembled vehicles

There was intense competition among European countries to host the Gigafactory because of its significant contribution to the economy. In the end, ten European countries campaigned to have the factory located within their jurisdictions.

The sprawling facilities, which is expected to be one of the largest manufacturing lines in Europe, will need a considerable number of employees despite many highly automated processes. There is also a concerted effort in the region to encourage battery manufacturing since it is viewed as a strategic economic measure due to an increasing global transition towards renewable energy.


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