Tesla Design Center for new cars in Berlin potentially in line for state subsidies

Credit: Julien Jodry/Twitter

If Tesla does end up designing a vehicle in Germany, the EV maker could count on the state for some notable subsidies. This was related recently in a document from the Berlin Senate’s economic administration, which responded to a written question from the FDP parliamentary group in the House of Representatives. 

Tesla has ambitious plans for its operations in Germany. Apart from Gigafactory Berlin, which is expected to start operations this year with the production of the Made-in-Germany Model Y, the company is also expected to establish a 100 GWh battery manufacturing site for its custom-designed 4680 cells. Apart from this, CEO Elon Musk has also confirmed that Tesla would be building an Engineering and Design Center close to the Gigafactory Berlin site. 

Reports from May last year suggested that Tesla had acquired the Gasometer, an 80-meter high structure located in Berlin-Schöneberg’s Euref Business Campus, and that the site would be utilized for the EV maker’s Engineering and Design Center. Euref Campus owner Reinhard Müller did not provide a comment on the facility then, though he did note that a mobility provider from outside Berlin has inquired about the property. 

News about Tesla’s Berlin-based Engineering and Design Center has since been tempered, at least until now. As noted in the response from the Berlin Senate’s economic administration to a written question from the FDP parliamentary group, Tesla would receive subsidies from the state for the Engineering and Design Center in Berlin. “Tesla has been fully informed of this offer. Companies then decide at what point this extensive support will be used,” the response read, as per a report from Handelsblatt

When asked by the Germany-based publication, Tesla noted that there is currently “no news” about the Engineering and Design Center considering the company’s primary focus on the completion of the first phase of Gigafactory Berlin. However, the company reportedly mentioned that the goal of the upcoming Engineering and Design Center would be to develop new car models, perhaps even for the global market. 

A dedicated facility in Germany aimed at designing cars would likely be beneficial for Tesla considering the country’s long history with the automobile. Facilities like an Engineering and Design Center in Berlin could be the factor that allows Tesla to transition from an upstart automaker to a recognized trailblazer in the automotive sector. 

Tesla is aiming to start the production of the Made-in-Germany Model Y this summer, but while the first phase of Giga Berlin is already approaching completion, the plant is yet to receive a final environmental approval via the Federal Immission Control Act. This could potentially result in delays for Tesla, though officials such as German Economics Minister Peter Altmaier have pledged their support to help expedite the project’s launch. “We have been able to clear up problems more than once in recent months, including through the short official channels. And I am convinced we will succeed in doing so in the future as well,” Altmaier said. 

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Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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