Tesla may have a new Gigafactory coming to the United Kingdom, according to recent reports.
The UK Government is reportedly looking for a four-million square foot site to accommodate a new production facility for the electric car maker. The Department for International Trade (DIT) is heading the search for a plot of land that is large enough for a Tesla plant that will house a Research and Development facility, along with a production plant.
A DIT spokesperson told Property Week, “The government is working with industry to help make the UK the location of choice to develop world-class electric vehicle technologies. DIT is working closely with partners to scope out sites for new investment into electric vehicle research, development, and manufacturing across the UK.”
Tesla is currently in the process of constructing its factory in Brandenburg, Germany, which will be known as Gigafactory Berlin. This facility’s location was formally announced in November when CEO Elon Musk revealed that Germany had been chosen to house the company’s next production plant. Giga Berlin is expected to begin producing vehicles in July 2021 and will employ 12,000 people.
However, several areas were in the running to receive the rights for Tesla’s next factory. The United Kingdom was one of them.
Unfortunately for the UK, Brexit was undoubtedly a hurdle that Tesla would have to jump through. Musk told Auto Express that the sovereign country’s plan to exit the European Union “made it too risky to put a Gigafactory in the UK.”
Property Week indicated that one business park that is attempting to attract Tesla for a new production facility is located in Somerset, a county in South West England. The site is 650-acres. This amount of land is significantly larger than Tesla’s Fremont facility, which sits on 370 acres, and Giga Shanghai, which occupies 214 acres. However, it is slightly smaller than the 740-acre site of Tesla’s Giga Berlin facility.
The UK seems to be recognizing that Tesla’s proven success could be beneficial to its economy. After Tesla and Toyota were both recognized by GlobalData as the two OEMs to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic without much damage, the UK could be preparing to make an offer that the electric automaker can’t refuse.
GlobalData’s “Thematic Research: Automotive Sector Scorecard (2020)” found that Tesla and Toyota would emerge the strongest out of 32 different OEMs, indicating that the electric carmaker would be beneficial to the UK’s automotive manufacturing sector, Automotive Management Online reported.
H/T David Rand.