The mayor of a municipal area in the north of England called on Elon Musk to build a gigafactory for the production of electric vehicles in Tees Valley. The offer comes after the head of Tesla said that the company intends to have up to 12 factories around the world.
Mayor for Tees Valley, Ben Houchen, wrote to Musk on Friday urging Tesla to open an electric car factory in the north of England. In a letter seen by The Telegraph, he wrote that the UK is a great place to manufacture high-end cars, so it makes a lot of sense to settle there.
“In the UK, where we have an £82bn automobile industry which leads the world in production of high end vehicles, it would surely make sense for Tesla to develop a serious presence, with Teesside being the best possible location to do this.”
Tees Valley is a combined authority area in the north of England around the River Tees. It was established in 2016, after public consultation in 2015. The area is not a geographical valley. Administrating the area is the Tees Valley Combined Authority, consisting of a mayor and six selected chairs, local enterprise partnership chair and each unitary authority. The area covers five council areas: Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, and Stockton-on-Tees.
The mayor said Teesside could offer Tesla hundreds of acres of ideal development land while avoiding the bureaucratic hassles seen in other lots. He was referring to the difficulty in obtaining permits for the construction of Giga Berlin in Germany. Although Tesla received assistance at all levels, red tape continued to delay the process.
The invitation comes after Musk, during a shareholder meeting held on August 4, 2022, said that Tesla would need up to 12 factories around the world. He also said that the next location will be selected on a competitive basis. Houchen said that Teesside will be able to offer Tesla access to customs benefits through the Teesside Freeport, which opened in November 2021. This question may be especially relevant for a young company.
In 2019, Brexit was the hurdle that prevented Tesla from choosing the UK for its factory and Germany was chosen instead. “Brexit made it too risky to put a gigafactory in the UK,” Musk said.
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