Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: July 14, 2023
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By Mobility Portal
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France hopeful about Tesla investment: “The dispute is with the USA and China”

The Minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire, suggests that there are possibilities for Tesla to invest in France, although he clarifies that there is no dispute with "friendly" countries. Elon Musk does not rule out investment but maintains expectations in Europe.
Tesla Elon Musk and France
French authorities reinforce the possibility and desire for Tesla to establish itself in the country.

In recent weeks, there have been discussions about the possibility of Elon Musk making investment decisions regarding the establishment of a Tesla plant in a European country.

Particularly in France, the government has conveyed that the installation of a factory in the country would be possible.

On his part, the magnate provides some certainty in this regard, although he does not confirm how or when.

The investment will come, but not now,” Musk stated.

Without providing specific details about the scale of the investment, he added, “I am very impressed by President Macron, the French government, and the open points regarding the industrial aspect. I am convinced that in the future, Tesla will make significant investments in France.”

On the government side, President Emmanuel Macron has been seen shaking hands with the owner of the company.

It should be noted that the country is offering generous subsidies to battery manufacturers, among other strategies, to conquer the electromobility market.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire, said he had “good hopes” that Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, would invest in a future project in France.

“He (Musk) knows that he would be welcome in France,” said Le Maire.

European Competition for Tesla?

From the French ministry, they dismiss a dispute among European countries over the installation of the automaker, highlighting the “main contradiction.”

“This is not a competition between friendly states; the competition is between the United States, China, and Europe,” Le Maire stated.

The president analyzes that two “radical” transformations are taking place: the climate transformation and the technological transformation with generative artificial intelligence.

“We must decarbonize our economy and become a powerhouse in the green industry with green hydrogen and the production of batteries for electric vehicles,” expressed the official.

He added, “That is what we must keep in mind: to be the nation that sets the pace and economic momentum for the European zone.”

Tesla in France: What’s happening with the new measures?

The French government has implemented measures that discourage the entry of Chinese vehicles into the country. However, there is a dilemma as Tesla vehicles originate from China.

The measure aims to review not only that vehicles produce zero emissions but also that they have a low carbon footprint in their production.

President Macron has declared that “taxpayer resources will not be used to incentivize industries that are not European.”

In this regard, starting in 2024, eco-bonuses will be removed for vehicles whose manufacturing process involves high emissions levels.

In practical terms, this means the exclusion of benefits for non-European vehicles.

It’s worth noting that the authorities are attempting to replicate the Reduction Inflation Act (IRA) in the United States with protectionist measures that develop the national and regional green industry.

Other candidates

In addition to France, although there are different versions, the candidates that appear on the radar are Spain, Portugal, and Italy.

Regarding the first country, the American company has considered the possibility of investing in Valencia.

However, it is true that the CEO of the automaker recently conducted a European tour, visiting high-ranking officials but excluding the Iberian country.

Héctor Gómez, the Minister of Industry, refers to this matter, downplaying the significance of President Pedro Sánchez not meeting with the owner of Tesla.

“Our government is very discreet in that area,” the official stated.

He adds, “We have contacts with large companies, and we do not televise those negotiations or progress.” Clearly alluding to the photos circulating of Elon Musk shaking hands with European presidents.

Among the known information so far is the alleged amount for Tesla’s installation in Spain, which would be €4.5 billion.

When comparing this figure, one can look at the investment made in Berlin, a plant announced in 2020 and inaugurated in 2022, three years later.

That factory has the capacity to manufacture 500,000 vehicles per year and produce batteries with a capacity of 50 GWh per year.

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