Elon Musk, the surprise guest of the "Choose France" summit on May 15, had remained silent on his possible investment projects. The mystery is dispelled: in an interview at the "CEO Summit" organized by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, the boss of Tesla revealed that he would "probably" choose the location of a future factory before the end of the year.
This would actually be the sixth assembly site of the electric vehicle manufacturer already installed in California, Texas, Germany and China. And its fifth factory will be built in Mexico, said Elon Musk.
For this new "gigafactory", the France intends to put itself on the ranks, confirms a source close to the executive. It is not only for selfies with the boss of Twitter, Space X and Tesla that it was received by Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée then at the best table of the patrons' lunch organized at the Palace of Versailles, and finally in appointment by Bruno Le Maire.
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In 2019, it was Berlin that won the battle for Tesla's first European factory. Germany had won by promising much shorter authorization deadlines, highlighting the ecosystem of its powerful auto industry, and freeing up enough ground for the American automaker's ambitions.
This time again, Tesla needs space: at least 150 hectares according to RTL, knowing that in Germany, the factory occupies an area of 300 hecares with a request for extension on 100 additional hectares. However, we know that land has become the most restrictive factor in the France's attractiveness policy. The lack of space contributed to semiconductor manufacturer Intel choosing Germany over France last year.
Slow procedures and land release (on brownfield sites in particular) are on the agenda of the green industry bill led by Bruno Le Maire, which should make it possible to attract new industrial projects, also facilitated by a policy of subsidies or tax credits now assumed.
Another factor could argue in favor of France: nuclear power, of which Elon Musk is a fervent follower. "We should double down on nuclear power! The France is taking smart measures in this regard," Musk tweeted the day after his visit to France.