The UK Government is on the hunt for a sprawling industrial site to accommodate a Tesla electric vehicle (EV) “Gigafactory”, according to reports this week.
An article published in Property Week said that the Department for International Trade (DIT) is seeking a four million square foot site to accommodate an electric vehicle (EV) research, development and manufacturing plant for Elon Musk’s car brand.
News of the development comes just months after Tesla was forced to halt construction of a proposed 741-acre Berlin Gigafactory after a German courts raised concerns about the impact on wildlife of clearing 227 acres of forest to create the facility.
Musk had said that “Brexit made it too risky to put a Gigafactory in the UK” in an interview published in Auto Express.
Property Week said in its report that one of the business parks trying to attract Tesla was Somerset’s 650-acre Gravity industrial estate.
A spokesperson for DIT told the publication: “The government is working with industry to help make the UK the location of choice to develop world-class electric vehicle technologies.
“DIT is working closely with partners to scope out sites for new investment into electric vehicle research, development and manufacturing across the UK.”
Back in March, automotive industry analyst GlobalData claimed that carmakers Tesla and Toyota will prove to be the OEM brands most resilient to the impact of COVID-19 coronavirus following a manufacturing sector review.
GlobalData’s review reminded automotive sector businesses that the industry was already facing disruption from the roll-out of electric vehicle (EV) technology, the impact of new EU CO2 emissions regulations for 2020/21 and a need to shift further in the direction of online car sales, but said that “the COVID-19 crisis will likely accelerate that process and add to volatility in the sector”.
But the ‘Thematic Research: Automotive Sector Scorecard (2020)’ found Tesla and Toyota would emerge strongest from a 32-strong field of OEMs, suggesting that Tesla would be a great asset to UK car manufacturing sector.