11/19/2015

Tesla Opens Talks About Building a Battery Factory in Germany

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Tesla Motors Inc. has begun preliminary discussions with Germany about building a factory in the country to make batteries for electric cars.

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Tesla Motors Inc. has begun preliminary discussions with Germany about building a factory in the country to make batteries for electric cars.

Economy Minister Sigmar Gabrie tells Bloomberg News that Tesla CEO Elon Musk has made contact with officials and presumably will request state support for such a facility.

Tesla is less than two years away from opening the first phase of a $5 billion "gigafactory" in Nevada to make lithium-ion batteries for its American-made Model S, just-launched Model X and upcoming Model 3 electric cars.

When fully operational in 2020, the plant will be able to produce enough cells to power 500,000 EVs annually roughly twice Tesla's anticipated vehicle output by then. The facility also will make cells for Tesla's Powerwall stationary power backup systems for homes and small businesses. Musk has described Germany as a target market for the systems.

Musk predicted previously that Tesla's ability to mass produce batteries will reduce their cost 30%. Erecting a battery plant in Europe would bolster the company's plan to aggressively expand sales in the region.