Tesla could establish UK base after European acquisition

Tesla could establish UK base after European acquisition
Tesla boss Elon Musk has said the company could establish a UK base and confirmed the firm’s next production plant will be in Europe.

The exact location of a “gigafactory” will be decided on next year, Mr Musk said at a press conference in Germany on Tuesday yesterday, after Tesla bought German engineering business Grohmann.

The CEO announced a new “gigafactory” battery production plant and an automated manufacturing research centre in Europe to help boost production.

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“We have a lot of respect for the British automotive engineering talent,” Mr Musk said.

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“Just look at Formula 1 - it amazes me how much British talent there is in that.

“We are likely to establish a Tesla engineering group in Britain at some point in the future,” he added.

Tesla is attempting to increase manufacturing for its Model 3 car.

The firm’s main base of operations and factory are in California, with a battery production plant called the Gigafactory being built in Nevada.

Mr Musk said it is unlikely Brexit will have a “significant impact” on Tesla’s long-term aims of making electric cars affordable to more people.

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“We want to change the world with a lot of electric cars for a lot of people. That is what buying Grohmann is about,” he said.

It is hoped the acquisition of Grohmann - a specialist in automation - will help Tesla hit its target of making 500,000 vehicles by 2018.

Grohmann currently employs around 700 people, including hardware and software engineers.

The demand for electric, hybrid and hydrogen cars in the UK has soared by 12.4% year-on-year, according to latest data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

Tesla also said it plans to start charging for the use of its Superchargers for vehicles ordered after January 1 2017, which provide owners of new cars with 400kWh of power.

New owners will get roughly 1,000 miles’ worth of credits each year for use at the Supercharger stations, but after the credits are gone owners will have to pay a small fee.

Copyright Press Association 2016. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.