Tesla’s efforts to established a dedicated facility to produce its custom-designed 4680 cells in Gigafactory Berlin has received a notable boost, with the European Union recently paving the way for battery projects to receive about 2.9 billion euros ($3.5 billion) worth of state aid. Tesla’s 4680 battery cell plant, together with similar projects from companies like BMW, is expected to take a slice out of the $3.5 billion aid.
As noted in a Bloomberg report, the $3.5 billion state aid will go to 42 companies across a dozen countries. Beneficiaries include, apart from Tesla, companies like Fiat Chrysler owner Stellantis NV and startup Northvolt AB. With such a program in place, the European Commission expects the support to trigger over three times as much private investment, which should bring the total amount spent at about 12 billion euros ($14.59 billion).
Europe is currently pursuing a number of ambitious environmental goals under the European Green Deal, a massive economic program aimed at achieving climate neutrality by 2050. On the way towards this goal, the region is looking to reduce its reliance on battery producers from outside the region. As per the commission, the value of Europe’s battery market could reach 250 billion euros by 2025, meeting the demands from the auto industry.
European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic expressed his views on the battery aid in the following statement: “Europe will cement in this way its position as a global hot spot for battery investment. This pan-European project will help revolutionize the battery market,” he said.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has big plans for Gigafactory Berlin’s dedicated battery cell facility. The plant, which would be producing the company’s custom-designed 4680 cells, is expected to have a capacity of about 100 GWh per year, though Musk has stated that the upcoming facility could be ramped to as much as 250 GWh per year in the future. “I’m pretty confident at that point it would be the largest battery-cell plant in the world,” Musk said.
Apart from Tesla, other automakers that would be establishing battery production facilities in the region include the PSA Group, which merged with Fiat Chrysler to form Stellantis. Volkswagen and BMW, as well as battery giants and Tesla suppliers Panasonic, LG Chem, and CATL have also expressed their intentions to set up operations in Europe.
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