Tesla to build first European gigafactory in Germany

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Elon Musk pledged recently to stop tweeting. However, he couldn’t resist the urge to take to social media to announce Tesla wants to build its first European gigafactory near Berlin.

The media-friendly CEO was in the German capital to collect the Golden Steering Wheel auto industry award for his company’s Model 3 car, which bagged the prize for best mid-size car in a year which saw electric and conventional models compete side by side for the first time.

The Berliner Morgenpost newspaper, reporting on the award ceremony held at the Axel Springer building, said Tesla wants to build its fourth global gigafactory near the cost and delay-hit Berlin Brandenburg Airport, which was commissioned in 2011 and is still under construction. Tesla operates two gigafactories in the U.S. and is building a third in China.

The Morgenpost reported at least 6,000 jobs would be created as a result of the Tesla factory plan, with another 4,000 in prospect during a subsequent expansion phase.

Musk tweeted, his company intends to manufacture its Model Y compact SUV model at the Berlin factory when it opens in 2021, as well as batteries and powertrains. No financial details related to the project were revealed.

German politicians welcomed the announcement. Berlin’s senator for economics, Ramona Pop, told the Berliner Morgenpost: “This is great news for the region. Anyone who has visions comes to Berlin, or at least in the vicinity. You can be proud. We’ve done the race.” German economics minister Peter Altmaier issued a statement this morning which said: “Tesla’s decision to build a state-of-the-art electric car factory in Germany is further proof of Germany’s attractiveness as an automotive location! It is also a milestone in the development of electromobility and battery expertise.”