10 Feb 2020, 13:33
Benjamin Wehrmann

Tesla to receive state aid only if research and development 'takes place in Germany'

Welt am Sonntag

The German state might grant support payments to US carmaker Tesla only if the e-car producer makes sure that "research and development as well as value creation take place in Germany", economy minister Peter Altmaier told newspaper Welt am Sonntag. In order to be eligible for state aid for its planned e-car and battery gigafactory near Berlin, Tesla would have to meet certain standards "regarding sustainability and performance" and also avoid making its German factory "simply an extended workbench" for the American company. Altmaier said he gave Tesla CEO Elon Musk reassurances that there would be "no privilege for, nor discrimination against" his company, adding that "all companies, including Tesla" will be eligible for aid if they meet the government's standards.

Altmaier's ministry is working on different European battery projects with several other EU countries to in order to establish a battery production that allows Europe to become more independent of Asian battery suppliers. Tesla reportedly applied for state subsidy payments to fund battery cell research and production in its European host country. German carmaker Opel, a subsidiary of French PSA, announced the opening of another gigafactory in Germany last week, which would be the largest in Europe, with a planned production to supply half a million e-cars with battery cells per year.

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