German government ready to support 'very important' Tesla battery factory
The German government has assured US automaker Tesla that it will make financial support available for battery production at its new factory near Berlin, Dietmar Neuerer reports in financial daily Handelsblatt. "We are ready to support this investment on the part of the state, as is the case with other companies that invest in this area," Germany's economy minister Peter Altmaier said, describing the project as “very important.” He added: “This is part of our success story because it also brings research and development to Germany." Altmaier said there would be "as few bureaucratic obstacles as possible and as few delays as possible.”
Altmaier’s assurances followed complaints by the US carmaker about Germany’s bureaucratic red tape. Tesla has been critical of the slow approval processes for its plant 16 months after the company filed its application. The factory, located in Grünheide, is nearly finished and is expected to begin operation in July. Altmaier's ministry supports large-scale battery cell innovation projects that are implemented at the EU level as Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI). The European Commission in January approved the second major European battery cell production project, granting funding to 42 companies from 12 member states, including 11 projects in Germany, among them the Tesla plant. The Gigafactory is expected to accelerate the shift to electric cars in Germany and Europe.