Ever since Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the automaker will decide on a location in Europe in 2017 for what the company has been referring to as ‘Gigafactory 2’, several countries have launched efforts to convince Tesla to build the plant in their country.
The race is now heating up as the French Economy Minister visits Tesla’s Fremont factory to reportedly woo the company.
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France has already attempted to attract Tesla when French Energy Minister Ségolène Royal offered a shuttered nuclear plant site for the automaker’s first full size European factory last April.
Tesla already has a factory in Europe – in Tilburg – but only for final assembly processes.
Now Economy Minister Michel Sapin visited Tesla’s Fremont factory last Friday:
Bloomberg linked his visit directly to France’s attempt to convince Tesla to come to establish a manufacturing presence in the country:
France’s Economy Minister Michel Sapin is due to tour the company’s production site Friday in Fremont, California, to argue that if Tesla is going to expand, it should do so in France, a ministry spokeswoman said.
France has been expanding its effort to accelerate electric vehicle adoption, including with a massive expansion of its charging infrastructure and direct incentives at the purchase worth up to 10,000 euros per car ($10,579).
Last year, Musk confirmed during the acquisition of German engineering group Grohmann Engineering that the automaker plans to soon focus on choosing a location in Europe for ‘Gigafactory 2’, a giant factory that will produce everything from battery cells to complete vehicles.
France is not the only country in the running, Finland, Portugal, Spain and others have organized efforts to bring the factory to their country.
Based on the Gigafactory in Nevada, 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 30% 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%.