Tesla Gigafactory Europe to be built in Germany, not UK, as Elon Musk blames Brexit uncertainty

Brand's European factory will be built near Berlin and produce the Model Y SUV, with Tesla R&D centre in Germany, too

Tesla Model Y

Tesla boss and serial entrepreneur Elon Musk has revealed that the firm's new European Gigafactory production facility will be built in Germany on the outskirts of Berlin. 

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 manufacturing plant. Later on his Twitter account, Musk confirmed that the new plant would build "batteries, powertrains & vehicles, starting with Model Y". It's understood that the Model 3, that runs on the same platform as the Model Y will follow. 

Speaking exclusively to Auto Express after making the Gigafactory announcement, Musk identified Brexit uncertainty as the reason why the UK wasn’t considered for the new site: “Brexit [uncertainty] made it too risky to put a Gigafactory in the UK,” Musk said.

Brexit might have something to do with Musk’s change of heart over the R&D centre, too. Back in 2014, he told Auto Express that he planned to build an R&D base in the UK. Those plans have since 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. “We’ve decided to put the Tesla Gigafactory Europe in the Berlin area,” he said. “I come to Berlin a lot – Berlin rocks!”

“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 gigafactory 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.

Responding to the news that the Tesla Gigafactory will be built in Germany, German Economy Minister, Peter Altmaier, said: "We see it as recognition of Germany as a location for making cars. We think we now have the chance, in the coming years, to become an important international center in this future-oriented sector". 

According to the DPA press service, construction of the factory near Berlin is due to start in 2021 and should bring a significant boost in terms of employment to the region. "They will have to submit documents at record speed. Production should start in 2021," he said. In the first stage, the factory should create more than 3,000 jobs," said another Economics Minister, Joerg Steinbach. 

What do you think of the news? Is Elon Musk right to raise concerns over Brexit? Tell us in the comments below...

Recommended

Tesla posts record earnings amid automotive supply chain chaos
Tesla Model 3 Long Range - front
Tesla

Tesla posts record earnings amid automotive supply chain chaos

64 per cent increase in vehicle deliveries year-on-year provides backbone for record Tesla earnings
22 Oct 2021
Humanoid 'Tesla Bot' to launch in 2022 says Elon Musk
Tesla Bot
Tesla

Humanoid 'Tesla Bot' to launch in 2022 says Elon Musk

US electric car-maker Tesla is to follow in Honda's tracks by branching out into robotics
20 Aug 2021
Slow-charging EVs could be charged more when Tesla Supercharger network opens for all
Tesla supercharger
Tesla

Slow-charging EVs could be charged more when Tesla Supercharger network opens for all

Non-Tesla EVs will soon be able to access the Supercharger network using the firm’s app, but slow-charging cars may need to pay a premium
27 Jul 2021
New Tesla steering wheel is legal in the UK
Tesla steering wheel
Tesla

New Tesla steering wheel is legal in the UK

The Department for Transport has confirmed that Tesla’s unusual steering control will pass through UK safety regulations
5 Feb 2021

Most Popular

New 2022 Range Rover leaks: first look at new Land Rover flagship SUV
Range Rover leak - front
Land Rover Range Rover

New 2022 Range Rover leaks: first look at new Land Rover flagship SUV

Images of what could be the next Range Rover have appeared on social media ahead of next week’s reveal
21 Oct 2021
New Michelin Uptis airless tyre blows in ahead of 2024 launch
Michelin Uptis
News

New Michelin Uptis airless tyre blows in ahead of 2024 launch

The new airless Michelin Uptis is made from rubber and fibreglass and promises to be longer lasting, fuel-saving and recyclable
20 Oct 2021
Best electric cars to buy 2021
Best electric cars
Electric cars

Best electric cars to buy 2021

There are more electric cars than ever to choose from, so we've picked some of the best you can buy in the UK now
19 Oct 2021