Construction site of the battery factory building in Brandenburg
Photo: Patrick Pleul / dpa
According to a media report, the electric car manufacturer Tesla has put the construction project for a battery factory in Germany on hold for the time being.
As the Wall Street Journal reports, billionaire Elon Musk's company is currently examining whether a location in the United States would be more advantageous.
The background is a new US law to promote domestic battery production.
President Joe Biden's administration plans to give US citizens a $7,500 tax credit for purchasing US-made electric vehicles with a US-made battery.
Tesla had planned to build a battery factory in Germany in addition to the car factory already built near Berlin.
The batteries should also be shipped to the United States for installation in the vehicles, if applicable.
The "Wall Street Journal" now reports, citing insiders, that Musk's company first wants to examine the effects of the US law and is putting its project in Germany on hold until then.
The manufacturer also submitted a dossier to the Texas Audit Office at the end of August, a few days after the law was passed, to explore the possibility of building a lithium refinery in the southern state.
Brussels is critical of the US government's plans
According to the Brandenburg state government, Tesla will build its battery factory in Germany despite possible tax breaks in the USA.
The ministry announced this on Thursday in Potsdam.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said it received the first information on Thursday, said a spokeswoman.
"It seems possible that Tesla will reprioritize individual process steps in the plants, but that the Grünheide site will remain under construction and with its jobs." She did not want to comment on the report, writes dpa.
The US government's plans for tax credits are also viewed critically in Brussels.
The EU Commission described the tax credits for buyers of US products as "discriminatory".
The Brussels authority sees this as a disadvantage for companies that purchase batteries for their electric vehicles from abroad, said a spokeswoman.
This violates the rules of the World Trade Organization.
Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) said that he also spoke to his US colleague about the law in question on the sidelines of the G7 meeting of trade ministers.
It is normal for him to point out “the interests of German companies or European companies” when talking to partners, he added.
It's also about "fair trade".
The construction of the battery factory in Grünheide in Brandenburg is well advanced - but the timetable for an opening was unclear.
Tesla boss Elon Musk also wanted to make the plant near Berlin the world's largest battery factory, as he said in November 2020.
So far, the mass production of new battery cells with a production of dry electrodes is planned there, which should manage with significantly less space consumption and energy consumption.
The company has been producing electric cars in Grünheide since March of this year.