While Tesla has just recently announced plans to construct a new Gigafactory in Mexico, the automaker is already looking to invest in other new factories and gigafactories. CEO Elon Musk recently met with French President Emmanuel Macron, leaving some wondering if the country could host the gigafactory that follows Tesla’s new facility in Nuevo León, Mexico.
|A Tesla service center. Image by Casey Murphy | EVANNEX.|
Tesla’s meeting with Macron was the automaker’s second sit-down with the French President in about a month, according to Automotive News. The two discussed the possibility of France being a site for an upcoming Tesla facility, as well as ongoing tech regulations for electric vehicles and autonomous driving — among other subjects.
“I’m going (into that meeting) with an agenda,” Macron said prior to the VivaTech fair in Paris, France, an event which Musk also visited. “We are going to talk about artificial intelligence, in which he is involved, social media, regulation framework … and then I will also talk to him about cars, batteries, to promote French and European attractivenes.”
France has already garnered four EV factory deals, one with a consortium formed by Stellantis, Mercedes-Benz, and oil giant TotalEnergies, which was inaugurated just last month. If Tesla builds a gigafactory in France, it will be the company’s second in Europe, after the first was debuted in Grünheide, Germany, in March 2022.
To be sure, Musk has already said he is certain that Tesla will make “significant investments” in France, though he didn’t clarify when he expects that to happen.
“It’s up to the company to look at these different issues in Europe,” Macron responded when asked if he hoped to secure a deal for a Tesla Gigafactory in France. “So we will be selling France,” he added.
Previous reports said that Tesla may also be in discussions with other countries in the European Union (EU), notably including Spain. In addition to Tesla, Chinese automaker BYD has also been in talks with French officials, according to recent reports from Reuters.
French Minister for Digital Affairs Jean-Noel Barrot said to CNBC in May that France had been investing in an “entire sector of electric batteries,” adding that officials would attempt to convince Musk that the country is “the best possible place in Europe to establish the next Tesla factory.”
“It will be great to have a Tesla factory in France. There has been a lot of effort and energy to make sure this is possible and this can happen.”
Originally published on EVANNEX. By Peter McGuthrie.
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