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Elon Musk is urged to switch plans for troubled German gigafactory to Hartlepool

Time 10 months ago

Tesla is being encouraged to abandon plans for a beleaguered gigafactory in Germany and spend that money in Hartlepool instead.

Environmental concerns have delayed plans for the factory near Berlin.

Now political leaders in the north-east of England have written to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, inviting him to plough the money into an electric car plant in their region instead.

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Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and Hartlepool Council leader Shane Moore said a site was available where work could begin in February.

Hartlepool was understood to have been second on Tesla’s shortlist of European sites but was pipped to the contract by Grunheide.

But environmentalists’ concerns over losing habitats for lizards and snakes have held up plans for the German site.

Houchen said: ‘When it comes to the skills needed to build an electric car and associated battery factory, there is no better workforce than what is available here in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.


‘We have the automotive experience, we are leaders in clean energy, and we lead the world in chemicals and precision manufacturing.’

‘Site preparation work for Tesla’s first European manufacturing plant in Germany has already been halted twice due to legal challenges from environmental campaigners.’

He added: ‘It is not hard to see more challenges in the future, which would inevitably put back the start of construction and production.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen says Tesla could relocate to Hartlepool

‘Tesla would not have any of those problems here. We have the land and we have the highly skilled workforce both for car manufacturing and the battery plant.’

Moore said: ‘Having previously made a shortlist of two, the town stands ready to welcome the company with open arms.’

However, Musk previously said Brexit made investing in the UK ‘too risky’.

Last week, Britishvolt announced plans to build a gigaplant in Blyth, Northumberland, to make electric vehicle batteries.

But today (Dec 16) it was revealed that its chairman and co-founder had quit over a historic tax fraud conviction, as reported by Car Dealer.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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