Battery gigafactories: Inside Tesla’s high volume battery plant
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There have already been reports that the billionaire Tesla CEO is eyeing up the UK as the next destination for a site to manufacture his electric cars. James Morris, a technology expert and editor of WhichEV, has told Express.co.uk that these could soon come to fruition. When asked whether Mr Musk was thinking about setting up shop in Britain, he replied: “He’s definitely been considering it.
“The British market is quite strong.
“Tesla is selling a lot of cars frankly, and right now they service that market by bringing in those cars from China.”
Mr Morris said that the UK market is appealing to Mr Musk for a number of reasons.
He told Express.co.uk: “One of the reasons we were doing well for having foreign investment in our automotive industry was because of us being able to build cars here and have less bureaucracy and easier labour laws to deal with.
“The unions are weaker in this country than they are in Europe and that means that companies can change their policies more easily.
“And I think Governments in general, Labour or Conservative, are more willing to do things for the industry than some European countries are.”
This comes after Mr Musk’s decision to build a Gigafactory in Germany hit a huge bump in the road due to too much red tape.
Tesla has been hit with a wave of delays in the approval process by regional and national agencies.
A number of EU acts were reflected in the system of environmental law in Germany, which has caused delays over concerns about water usage and pollution.
And Mr Musk’s revisions to his original plans have also slowed down the process
But while the Tesla boss is thought to have picked Germany over the UK due to Brexit issues, likely because the UK no longer has direct access to the EU market, it appears he may have changed his mind.
Speculation about the tech baron’s alleged UK venture has been rife since he touched down in Luton airport back in May.
Around the same point of Mr Musk’s visit, the Government’s new Office for Investment called on regional agencies to urgently submit potential locations covering 250 hectares for a new car factory.
One regional authority reportedly said there was only had 48 hours to submit a proposal for space.
They added that there is normally far more time and engagement with a potential investor.
Tesla also reportedly bolstered its lobbying efforts after hiring a new UK head of public policy and business development.
And it is perhaps no surprise that the UK market may have piqued Mr Musk’s interest, given the astonishing number of EVs currently being sold in Britain.
According to Mr Morris, in November, the third best-selling car of all fuel types in Britain was the Tesla Model 3
And he said that nearly 19 percent of all cars sold were battery-electric vehicles.
He told Express.co.uk: “It’s doing really well. This time last year it was half that.”
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The UK has been planning a huge gigafactory expansion, but currently only has one.
Chinese owners Envision has a plant in Sunderland and is planning to expand their space into one of the largest EV facilities in Europe.
While it was first set up in 2012 to manufacture Nissan’s Leaf EV, there have been reports that Britain has been in talks with six companies for new gigafactories in the UK.
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