Two of Germany’s political leaders recently discussed how the country plans to approach Tesla’s Gigafactory 4 in Berlin. Premier Dietmar Woidke of Brandenburg and Germany’s Economy Minister Peter Altmaier both revealed that Elon Musk’s Gigafactory in Europe will be treated fairly and must abide by the state and the European Union’s rules.
Altmaier talked about possible subsides for Teslas once Gigfactory 4 was in motion. The Economy Minister told reporters Tesla has not spoken with the national government about potential subsidies for its electric vehicles yet, reported Reuters.
“Subsidies have not yet been discussed. It's clear that Tesla - if it invests in Germany and creates jobs here, will be treated like all other companies in the automobile and automotive industry. That means we will treat all players who invest in Germany equally and without discrimination,” he said.
According to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), 24 out of 28 EU states have programs in place to stimulate interest in electric cars. Only 12 of the EU member states offer bonus payments or premiums for electric-powered vehicles, but most of the countries do grant tax reductions or exemptions for EV owners.
The ACEA has a record of the tax rules and perks in Germany for electric vehicles as well as other countries in the EU. These incentives could be viewed here. Based on Altmaier’s words, subsidies for Tesla in Germany may not be off the table, but they would need to be discussed first.
The premier of Brandenburg—the state near Berlin—Dietmar Woidke also shared his thoughts on Tesla’s Gigafactory 4. Woidke told reporters that any support for Tesla by the state would be within EU rules. Tesla will have to follow the European Union’s state aid rules for electric cars, just like every other country.
“We're operating within the framework of the European Union's state aid rules. That applies to all European countries - that's our framework. We'll, of course, do our part to create good conditions for Tesla within these possibilities,” Woidke said.
According to a briefing by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) in April 2019, there are different levels of incentives in the EU. There are local, regional, and national incentives that seem to focus on subsidies and other actions, like free parking, to promote EVs.
The EU, as a whole, has a different set of incentives and programs to encourage people to switch to electric vehicles. For example, the European Union provides financial support for EV investments and research. There are non-reimbursable grants from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and structural and investments funds for companies that seek to develop charging infrastructure. The EU also has the Horizon 2020 program and European Investment Bank to support projects related to research and innovation in electric vehicles.
Elon Musk didn’t talk much about Gigafactory 4 after he announced it would be in Berlin. He has only revealed that the Berlin-based Tesla factory would start production with the Model Y and will also be working on batteries and powertrains. For now, it seems Tesla still needs to talk to the various people in Germany, like Woidke and Altmaeir, as it makes plans for GF4.
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