FILE PHOTO: German Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier arrives the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany January 29, 2020. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Tesla could get state subsidies in its plan to set up a gigafactory in Germany, the country’s economy minister told a weekly newspaper.
“In my conversations with (Tesla CEO) Elon Musk I have always made clear that there are no privileges but also no discrimination,” Peter Altmaier told Welt am Sonntag in an interview.
The German government has earmarked financial support for making electric car battery cells locally as a way to secure manufacturing jobs as tougher emissions rules threaten demand for older technologies, like diesel engines.
Altmaier said in order to qualify for state subsidies companies needed to fulfill certain requirements in the areas of sustainability and battery efficiency.
“Also, Germany has to be more than an extended workbench. There needs to be research and development, too. All companies that fulfill these criteria have a chance to be supported – including Tesla.”
Tesla in November announced it would build its first European factory and design center near Berlin, adding the new plant would make batteries, powertrains and cars – starting with the Model Y sports utility vehicle.
Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Ros Russell