In the few weeks since Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the automaker will decide on a location in Europe next year for what the company has been referring to as ‘Gigafactory 2’, an electric car and battery factory modeled after Tesla’s first Gigafactory in Nevada, a few countries have already launched efforts to convince Tesla to build the new plant on their own soil.
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Countries are using different approaches to try to attract Tesla. For example, Portugal is trying the grassroots approach: they have organized a Facebook group called ‘Bring Tesla Gigafactory to Portugal‘ that already has over 40,000 members, where they brainstorm ideas to attract Tesla and look for suitable locations where the company could build its second Gigafactory.
If ‘Gigafactory 1’ in Nevada is any indication, the prospect of attracting a similar project is interesting for several reasons. A successful bid for the project would mean an investment of roughly $5 billion that could create between 6,000 and 10,000 direct jobs. Even though the plant is only about 20% completed, Nevada is already seeing the impact of Tesla’s investment: median home price in Sparks, Nevada, where the factory is located, has increased by 42%.
Today, another country threw its hat in the ring. Henk Kamp, Dutch Economy Minister, announced to the parliament that his government will “actively engage to persuade” Tesla to establish its ‘Gigafactory 2’ in the Netherlands.
The country is already in a good position, as Tesla has its European headquarters in Amsterdam and it operates a final assembly plant in Tilburg. That being said, the company will certainly look at every option – we are talking about a project several times bigger than Tesla has ever done in Europe or anywhere else outside of the US.
Following the acquisition of a German engineering group, Grohmann Engineering, earlier this month, Elon Musk confirmed that while the company’s focus is currently very much on completing ‘Gigafactory 1’ and bringing the Model 3 to production, Tesla will be seriously looking for a location in Europe, which they should announce in 2017.
Musk added that there could be several European Tesla factories in the long-term:
“There’s no question that long-term Tesla will have at least one – and maybe two or three – vehicle and battery factory locations in Europe.”
Other countries have also been courting Tesla to establish manufacturing capacity in their countries over the last year, like when a French minister offered a shuttered nuclear plant site for Tesla’s first EU factory and Spain launched a similar campaign offering a site.