Tesla joins German legacy automakers in list of cars approved for government officials

Tesla Model 3 deliveries in France. (Photo: Max Félix/Instagram)

Tesla has joined the list of vehicles that government officials in Berlin can choose from, a role that’s historically included only German legacy car brands.

German publication Bild got a hold of the confidential list, which reveals Audi, BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen, and Tesla as carmakers that are approved for government use.

Although the report did not indicate which Tesla, in specific, was being made available to government officials, it did mention a lease rate of 11,555 euros per year and an operational cost of 11,623 euros annually for the vehicle.

“If it is not possible for German manufacturers to produce an electric vehicle with auxiliary heating, then we will include foreign brands in the list,” State Secretary Sabine Smentek said in an interview.

State Secretary for Education Beate Stoffers has confirmed that her vehicle of choice is a Tesla.

“I looked at the CO2 values ​​and range, and you also support a company that invests in the Berlin region,” Stoffers said.

The Berlin Senate consists of a governing mayor, eight senators, and 25 state secretaries. These officials are given a list of potential service vehicles that they can test drive for two hours. Once they’ve made their choice, they can lease the vehicle for a year. If they will use it for private trips, members of the Berlin Senate should keep a logbook for tax purposes.

To be included in the list of service vehicle options for the Berlin Senate is a huge signal that Germans have felt the presence of the California-based electric vehicle manufacturer in the country’s capital. It’s also a wake-up call for the German legacy automakers that have continued to struggle with maintaining consumer demand in the face of an electric vehicle revolution that’s been spearheaded by Tesla.

Tesla has been receiving a fair amount of support from the federal and state government of Brandenburg as it pushes closer to the start of construction for Giga Berlin, its first car factory in Europe. The carmaker has officially applied for federal subsidies for its battery cell production at the Gigafactory in Grunheide.

Gigafactory Berlin is expected to begin production by July 2021 and aims to produce 150,000 vehicles annually during its initial phase and eventually up production to 500,000 units per year in the future. The Tesla car factory is also expected to generate approximately 8,000 new jobs that will benefit young workers in Germany and nearby countries.

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