Tesla Motors Inc CEO Elon Musk revealed earlier this month that he wants to start building Gigafactory 2 in Europe sometime next year. Gigafactory 1 is a sprawling plant that Tesla is building out in the Nevada dessert where it plans to produce enough batteries for 500,000 EVs every year. Nonetheless, Musk has hinted that Gigafactory 2 will produce both batteries and cars as the firm continues its lead in the global EV market.
Musk said the new plant in Europe “is something that we plan on exploring quite seriously with different locations for very large scale Tesla vehicles, and battery and powertrain production – essentially an integrated ‘Gigafactory 2’.” News report indicates that some European countries have started jostling to lure Elon Musk to bring the factory to their lands. This piece provides insight into some of the top contenders for where Giga 2 will call home.
On Tuesday, the Netherlands joined the list of countries hoping to attract the Gigafactory. Dutch Development Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp told the House that he is working on how to “actively engage to persuade” Tesla to bring his plant the country. He says, he will “certainly strive to achieve the production plant to the Netherlands.”
However, Netherlands is at a vantage position to attract the Gigafactory because Tesla already has a final assembly line plant in Tilburg. The assembly plant has a capacity of 450 vehicles per week, it employs 180 people and it has more room to grow.
France is another home for Giga 2 and France could win the deal if Musk makes a choice based on sentiments. In April, French Energy Minister Ségolène Royal told Elon Musk to think about building a plant in Alsace, France months before Musk thought about putting the Giga 2 in Europe. Royal even went as far as suggesting that Musk could convert the Fessenheim nuclear plant into a plant for making EVs.
In her words, “I told him – I have a place for you – Fessenheim. He [Musk] didn’t say “no”. Who dares, wins. […] It would be wonderful since we are already announcing the closing of Fessenheim and we build something else. We turn the page and look to the future. And electric cars are the industry of the future.”
One month after France offered Musk, the Fessenheim nuclear plant, Spain also threw its hat into the ring to attract a Tesla plant. The local government of Paterna (about 6 miles from Valencia) has sent an open letter to Tesla asking that the plant be brought to its land.
In fact, 1 part of the letter signed by “The Spanish People” reads “Paterna has one of the best industrial parks in Spain, with many specialized automobile industry suppliers, since Ford’s factory is already located a couple of minutes away from it. One of the first Tesla Superchargers in Spain can be found there and many worldwide renowned companies have branches in Paterna, like Schneider Electric.
Portugal is using a grassroots approach to lure Tesla over into the country. The country now has a “Bring Tesla Gigafactory to Portugal” Facebook group about 25K members. It also brainstorms ideas on how to attract Giga 2 to the country. The group also tries to find suitable locations for the Giga 2 part of its activities.
Tesla Gigafactory 2 will create jobs and boost economy
Interestingly, the jostling for Tesla Motors Inc Gigafactory 2 lies in the fact that the plant could boost the local economy with its presence. The plant could bring in an initial $5B in direct investments. The Gigafactory could create a minimum of 6,000 direct jobs and it could create 5-digits indirect jobs as well. More so, the economy of the surrounding environment tends to record a massive boost. For instance, the Nevada plant is only 20% completed but the median home price in the surrounding area has soared by almost 42%.