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Tesla to build factory in Germany after subsidies announced

Tesla to build in Germany

Germany on Wednesday hailed Tesla’s decision to build its first European factory in the country, days after the government said it would boost subsidies for buyers of electric cars.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during an awards ceremony in the German capital Tuesday evening that “we’ve decided to put the Tesla Gigafactory Europe in the Berlin area.”

The company will also set up an engineering and design centre in Berlin, Musk said. He wrote on Twitter that the new plant “will build batteries, powertrains & vehicles, starting with Model Y.”

The Model Y is a small SUV scheduled to go on sale in the fall of 2020. It will start at $39,000 (35,400 euros) with a range of 230 miles (370 kilometres) per charge.

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier called the announcement a “glorious success” for the country’s attractiveness to the auto industry, especially in the race to develop and produce electric cars and batteries.

Altmaier said there had been competition for the plant among European countries in recent months, but denied that the government had offered any financial support to Tesla.

“So far, subsidies haven’t been discussed,” he told reporters in Berlin. “It’s clear that Tesla will be treated the same way as all other automobile companies if it invests in Germany and creates jobs here.”

In an interview with British publication Auto Express, Musk said uncertainty over Britain’s planned exit from the European Union — and thereby the world’s biggest trading bloc — had been a factor in not building the new plant there.

“Brexit made it too risky to put a Gigafactory in the UK,” Musk was quoted as saying.



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