Tesla tries to secure subsidies for production of battery cells in Germany

Tesla is reportedly trying to secure subsidies to help establish the production of battery cells in Germany while it moves forward with its Gigafactory near Berlin.

Last year, CEO Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla is going to build Gigafactory 4 in the “Berlin area.”

The CEO has now changed the nomenclature regarding Tesla’s Gigafactories. Instead of numbering them based on when they were established, Tesla will now call them by their location.

For example, Gigafactory 1 will now be called Gigafactory Nevada, and the upcoming factory in Germany is going to be called Gigafactory Berlin.

The Berlin project will be sited on a 300-hectare plot of land next to the GVZ Berlin-Ost Freienbrink industrial park.

Musk said that Tesla will build “batteries, powertrains, and vehicles, starting with Model Y” at Gigafactory Berlin.

Tesla plans to start producing vehicles out of the new factory as soon as July 2021.

The battery production is expected to come later, but Tesla is apparently already working on it.

Germany’s Handelsblatt reported earlier this week:

The US electric car pioneer Tesla has applied for federal subsidies for battery cell production and research in Germany. The Handelsblatt learned this from government circles.

The German government has previously announced initiatives to encourage local production of battery cells in order to support the electrification of the auto industry, which is a very important industry in the country.

Just over a year ago, Germany announced $1 billion investment in local battery cell production to support EV growth.

They want to “lay the groundwork in the months ahead for large-scale battery production in Europe and expected such production to start in Germany from 2021.”

A consortium of many companies, including de BMW, BASF, and the PSA, have already applied for government support on a massive battery manufacturing project.

Now Tesla, who currently doesn’t make its own battery cells, is believed to also have applied for the subsidies.

Electrek’s Take

If Tesla is itself applying for subsidies to establish production of battery cells, it could be further evidence that the automaker is looking to produce its own cells without a battery supplier as a partner, like Panasonic at Gigafactory Nevada.

We have seen several other indications that Tesla is moving in that direction over the last year.

More information is expected to be released at Tesla’s battery and powertrain investor day later this year.

One of the biggest questions Tesla has to answer at that event is, “Where are they going to build the first Tesla batteries?” Could Germany be it?

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

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