Tesla to “strongly consider” building Gigafactory in England

May 24, 2023 by

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Elon Musk’s comments throw a lifeline of hope following failure of similar projects

Tesla’s boss, Elon Musk, has said his company will “strongly consider” building a vast ‘Gigafactory’ for producing electric-cars and their batteries in England.

Musk told The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council that while Tesla is “not currently looking at new locations” for a new factory, the company “will probably towards the end of this year”.

Tesla already has five Gigafactories – the term used for its battery and car manufacturing plants – operating in the USA, China and Germany. The firm had considered locating ‘Giga Berlin’ in the UK, but Brexit uncertainty during the planning stages around 2016-18 lead to Germany being chosen.

The UK has a significant need for a UK battery production facility, but some projects have met with more failure than success. The firm Britishvolt had plans to build a vast battery production plant in Wales, but the company went into administration at the start of 2023.

JLR, which owns the Jaguar and Land Rover brands, shows more promise, recently pledging a £15 billion investment, with some of the money helping to turn its engine manufacturing centre in Wolverhampton into a battery and motor production facility.

Over on the Continent, European Union and UK leaders are trying to figure out a way to avoid import tariffs on cars utilising battery packs imported from outside the UK and EU.

Nissan, meanwhile, which manufactures the Leaf electric car in Sunderland, recently said that the UK was becoming a challenging environment to operate in due to rising energy costs and complex supply chains.

A source from the UK’s Department for Business and Trade said: “We would be delighted to show Elon and Tesla all the many benefits of establishing a gigafactory in this country”, adding that “the UK remains an attractive destination for advanced industries to locate and grow their businesses.”