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Electric car maker Tesla to build factory near Berlin

Elon Musk said the company will also set up an engineering and design centre in Germany.

Elon Musk said Tesla will build a factory near Berlin (Jae C. Hong/AP)
Elon Musk said Tesla will build a factory near Berlin (Jae C. Hong/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

Tesla boss Elon Musk has said the electric car maker plans to build a new factory near Berlin.

During an award ceremony in the German capital, Mr Musk that “we’ve decided to put the Tesla Giga factory Europe in the Berlin area”.

The company will also set up an engineering and design centre in Berlin, Mr Musk said at the Golden Steering Wheel event.

He wrote on Twitter that the new plant “will build batteries, powertrains & vehicles, starting with Model Y”.

He said that the plan is for the factory to be built near Berlin’s new airport, which is located just outside the city limits in neighbouring Brandenburg state and due to open next year after years of delays.

“We definitely need to move faster than the airport, that’s for sure,” Mr Musk said.

Regional officials in Berlin and Brandenburg welcomed the announcement, which comes as the German government tries to ramp up support for electric cars.

German officials and auto industry leaders agreed last week to increase by half the existing government incentives for electric vehicles with a list price of 40,000 euros.

The subsidy will also be extended from the end of 2020 to the end of 2025, while the government and industry also agreed to aim for 50,000 publicly accessible charging stations nationwide by 2022.

Economy Minister Peter Altmaier hailed Tesla’s announcement as further evidence of Germany’s attractiveness as an auto industry location. He called it “a milestone in the expansion of electric mobility and battery expertise”.

Last week, German car maker Volkswagen began mass production of its ID.3 electric car.

“I’m happy that Elon is, let’s say, pulling us, but I think the German industry is really now strongly investing,” said Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess, speaking alongside Mr Musk at Tuesday’s event. “And we will keep you alert.”

PA

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