Tesla’s expansion in Israel apparently involves more than selling cars and energy storage products as a new report states that it is also working to open a research and development office in the country.

We reported last month that Tesla is working on opening a service center and a Supercharging station in Tel Aviv.

It would be Tesla’s first entry in the market and the automaker is expected to start taking orders later this month.

Now we learn that Tesla’s plans for Israel involve more than selling its products in the market.

Israel’s Globes reports that Tesla is setting up a research and development office in the country:

“In the first stage, Israel R&D operations will focus on scouting for local startups and technologies involved in areas of interest for Tesla as well as talks and information exchange with Israeli companies, with some of whom Tesla has already had a business and technological relationship over the past two or three years.”

The automaker is also considering opening a full R&D center in Israel, according to the same report:

“According to one source close to the matter, Tesla is also mulling establishing an R&D center that will work directly with the company’s R&D center in Palo Alto. If Tesla sets up an Israeli R&D center, it would employ several dozen engineers and be of similar dimensions to the Israel development centers of many other carmakers and Tier 1 car parts manufacturers and suppliers.”

The publication reports that Adi Gigi, who held several positions at Tesla – most recently Staff Product Manager for Car Connectivity – Autopilot & Electronic Systems, has been put in charge of the new R&D office.

With this new presence, Tesla will join several other automakers and tech companies looking to be involved in Israel’s growing tech industry.

Tesla itself has been linked to Israeli firms in the past. Most famously Mobileye, which powered Tesla’s first-generation Autopilot before they developed their own systems and Tesla was also reportedly in talks with an Israeli AI vision firm two years ago.

The automaker also opened similar R&D spaces to recruit talent in the UK, Germany, and China.

 

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