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Tesla machine shop in Frankfurt. Dealership, fuel.

Tesla eyes German state as site for European Gigafactory

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According to local news reports, Tesla investigated the German area of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) as a possible location for a European EV factory.

NRW, with its convenient vicinity to France and Benelux nations, was found to be an attractive suitor for Tesla's location of choice to build a European Gigafactory.

A newspaper report by the Rheinische Post featured interviews of people familiar with the topic who said that the company already scouted for possible sites within NRW.

According to a message posted on Twitter in June, Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk said that this would be a good choice for establishing a European manufacturing site.

Whereabouts Tesla would consider building in NRW is not known. Pundits have suggested that one possible area could be the ‘Rheinisches Revier’: a mining district at the Cologne Bay.

At the end of July, the Wall Street Journal reported that talks concerning the building of the factory have taken place for two federal states of Germany. Despite talks being in an early stage, both Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland would have expressed particular interest in being picked. The Lower Saxony Economy Minister confirmed that the EV manufacturer had also scouted for a location in the Northwest region of Germany. 

The negotiation talks also entailed a site in the Netherlands. A decision for a factory in Germany was not final.

Over the past years, emission standards tightened across Europe and demand for EVs increased, notably in the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany in 2017.  

In May, the Volkswagen Group announced it would double its forecast for the supply of electric vehicles battery cell, which would aid in reaching the target of becoming the global leader in electric cars. 

At the beginning of the year, news broke that Tesla had begunconstructing of its first non-US Gigafactory in Shanghai.

In some places in Europe, Tesla's market penetration grew staggeringly high, partly to environmental concern but also due to large national subsidy programs. In April, E&Ts Brussels correspondent wrote “estimates suggest that Norway is on its way to close the year with one in two new cars being EVs”.

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