Tesla boss Elon Musk: Not in the mood for funding
Photo: ODD ANDERSEN / AFP
The US electric car manufacturer Tesla surprisingly waived possible government funding in the billions for the planned battery production in Grünheide near Berlin.
Tesla said that the company had informed the Federal Ministry of Economics and the Brandenburg Ministry of Economic Affairs that it would no longer want to participate in the second major European project for battery cell production (EuBatIn).
That is why the application for state funding was withdrawn.
"The government funds not used by Tesla are now available for other projects," said a spokesman for the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
However, the new federal government must decide on the specific use of the funds.
Does Tesla meet the requirements?
Tesla itself has so far not given any reasons for not giving up the funding.
The announced factory was still being planned, the company said, and they wanted to build new types of batteries on the site.
In fact, the aid for the Grünheide project had already been approved.
The EU Commission had promised a maximum amount of around 1.1 billion euros, even if this amount does not have to correspond one-to-one to the funding decision.
In order to receive such funding, companies must meet requirements.
For example, the project must make an important contribution to the research area and climate policy in the EU, and the plans must also be of a significantly innovative nature.
However, Tesla would not only have received federal funds, but also a state share from Brandenburg.
The economic committee of the state parliament had approved a grant of 120 million euros from a future fund by a majority.
Sebastian Walter, head of the left parliamentary group in the state parliament, attributes the waiver to the fact that the company may not meet the funding criteria.
"We kept asking if Tesla also had research and development," he said.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs could not give an answer.
Advanced construction work
Tesla is currently building its factory at its own risk and with early approvals because the approval from the state of Brandenburg is still pending.
Company boss Elon Musk is aiming for production in Europe to start this year.
The project is considered to be one of the most important industrial projects in East Germany.
Brandenburg's Minister of Economics, Jörg Steinbach (SPD), who is in close contact with Musk, said about the waiver of funding: "This does not change Tesla's commitment to the Grünheide location." a win.
Incidentally, Tesla could hope for further funding: An application for so-called GRW funds is still being processed, according to the Ministry of Economics in Potsdam.
The total is open: "The procedure is ongoing, so we cannot provide any information on the amount of funding before the procedure is completed."
rai / dpa