Rumor: Tesla and UK government are working on a factory

A rumor is circulating about Tesla and the British government working together on finding a location for a factory in England.

Tesla is currently undergoing a massive expansion in Europe with its first full-fledged factory near Berlin and a new design and research center in the German capital.

After announcing that Tesla’s first factory in Europe is going to be in Berlin, CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla looked into the UK as a possible location but found it to be “too risky”:

Brexit [uncertainty] made it too risky to put a Gigafactory in the UK.

Now a report in Property Week claims that the Department for International Trade (DIT) is seeking a 4 million-square-foot site for Tesla to build an “electric vehicle (EV) research, development, and manufacturing plant.”

DIT confirmed that it was looking at sites related to electric vehicle research and development as well as manufacturing, but it didn’t confirm working with Tesla:

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.

According to the report, the 650-acre Gravity industrial park in Somerset in southwestern England is being considered as a possible site for a Tesla factory.

Tesla has a long history with England, dating back to its early days when it was working with Lotus to produce its Roadster.

The California-based automaker ended up hiring many automotive engineers from the United Kingdom.

Electrek’s Take

I am a tad skeptical of the report. We do know that Tesla has aggressive expansion plans, but a second factory in the region so quickly would be surprising.

However, Tesla has had success in the UK with Model 3. Maybe they are looking for a local factory to produce vehicles for the local market and other right-hand-drive markets.

I would also consider the possibility of the location simply being a research center, which Tesla has talked about before, and not a manufacturing facility.

Tesla might want to tap into local engineering talent without going into the complexities of manufacturing vehicles in England.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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