Elon Musk's secret visit sparks hopes for a UK Tesla 'gigafactory'
Is Elon Musk planning to build an electric car ‘gigafactory’ in the UK? Tesla billionaire makes a secret visit to England amid problems with his German plant in potential coup for post-Brexit Britain
- Mr Musk flew in on a private jet amid problems with his gigafactory in Germany
- $4.9billion Gruenheide site to the eats of Berlin was due to open on July 1
- But it is being held up by red tape, eco-activists and unexploded WW2 bombs
Elon Musk has sparked hopes he is planning to build a major Tesla ‘gigafactory’ in the UK in what would be a major industry boost for post-Brexit Britain.
Ministers have been sounding out development agencies to locate sites for a major production plant after the world’s third-richest man made a secret trip to England last week.
Mr Musk flew into Luton on his private jet amid problems with a factory he is building in Germany.
The $4.9billion Gruenheide gigafactory site 24 miles east of Berlin was scheduled to open on July 1, but the launch was last month delayed until later in the year.
It is facing huge construction delays due to government red tape, environmental activists and unexploded Second World War bombs, meaning its first cars might not be produced until next year.
Tesla’s $4.9billion Gruenheide gigafactory site 24 miles east of Berlin, visited by Mr Musk on Monday (pictured) was scheduled to open on July 1, but the launch was last month delayed until later in the year
It is facing huge construction delays due to government red tape, environmental activists and unexploded WW2 bombs, meaning its first cars might not be produced until next year.
Musk visited the plant on Monday after a short stop off in London on his £50million private jet, and tweeted on Tuesday: ‘Giga Berlin suppliers please accelerate!’
But he arrived in Germany after spending several days in the UK, promoting hopes that he is planning a similar development in Britain.
The Office for Investment has put out an appeal for sites in he West Midlands and Teesside suitable for a 250 hectare factory, the Daily Telegraph reported.
If proved true the factory would cap a remarkable turnaround in opinion by Mr Musk. He chose to build a factory in Germany in 2019, saying uncertainty caused by Brexit made it ‘too risky’ to build the factory in the UK.
The German plant is Tesla’s fourth gigafactory, adding to its existing sites in Nevada, New York and Shanghai. One is also being constructed in Texas.
Tesla is estimated to have some 30 per cent of the European market for battery-powered cars.
Mr Musk unveiled the Model Y all-electric SUV in California earlier this year and has promised to build the car at the German plant along with batteries and powertrains.
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