Just days after reports emerged that Tesla is looking into the German state of Lower Saxony as the potential site for its Europe Gigafactory, new reports from the region have revealed that another area in Germany, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), is being considered by the electric car maker as the location of its upcoming facility.
Citing people familiar with the matter, German news agency The Rheinische Post reported on Sunday that Tesla is considering the NRW, Germany’s most populous state, as Gigafactory 4’s potential location. While brief, the Post‘s report stated that first inspections in the state have already taken place.
Tesla Europe, for its part, has not issued a statement about The Rheinische Post‘s recent report.
The idea of establishing a Gigafactory in Europe was initially mentioned by Elon Musk in late 2016 through statements made after Tesla acquired Grohmann Engineering. Musk provided more details about Tesla’s plans for Gigafactory 4 in June 2018, noting on Twitter that Germany was the leading choice for the upcoming facility’s location. “Perhaps on the German-French border makes sense, near the Benelux countries,” Musk tweeted.
With this in mind, the German sites currently under consideration make perfect sense. The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), for example, shares a border with the Netherlands and Belgium. Lower Saxony, the other state reportedly being considered by Tesla, shares a border with the Netherlands, as noted in a Reuters report.
An official from the state of NRW has not shared any insights about Tesla’s inspection or reported initiatives in the area, though Lower Saxony Economics Minister Bernd Althusmann has noted that his region will be a good match for the electric car maker.
“A good location in the European transport network including port connections, a dynamic research landscape and renewable energies on the doorstep: Lower Saxony is one of the world’s top regions of the automotive industry, which is also Tesla known,” Althusmann said.
Tesla appears to be closing in on Germany as the site for its Europe Gigafactory, which will likely produce vehicles that are intended to be distributed to the region. With its aggressive emissions targets, Europe is projected to be the auto industry’s second-largest driver for electric vehicles over the next decade, trailing only China. With this in mind, Gigafactory 4 could serve a similar purpose as Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory, which is expected to cater to the local Chinese market.