Present in France last week as part of the Viva Technology exhibition, Elon Musk made a detour to the Elysée to meet Emmanuel Macron. The prospect of seeing a Tesla factory in France could become clearer soon. But where to install it? Here are the most likely tracks.
The Elysée and Emmanuel Macron do not hide their ambitions for France in terms of industry. Seeing new factories arrive, generating employment and economic prosperity in France, the President of the Republic dreams of it. And that is clearly why he has been courting Elon Musk, the Tesla boss, for a long time.
Last week, during his visit to Paris, the President of the Republic once again met Emmanuel Macron, just over a month after their previous meeting at the Choose France summit. While the President of the Republic mentioned issues related to artificial intelligence to explain this new meeting, the installation of a Tesla Gigafactory in France was also discussed.
Tesla could settle in France, but where?
According to information from Figaro, Elon Musk would be hesitating between two European countries to install his next factory dedicated to the production of Tesla electric cars: Spain and France. Several years ago, France had applied for the arrival of such an infrastructure, but it had not been successful. This time, Emmanuel Macron is determined to strengthen his charm offensive: “Let’s work together!”, he tweeted at the end of the meeting on June 16th.
For now, nothing is official: it is not yet known if a gigafactory will be installed in France in the coming years. However, if that were to be the case, the choice of location would be crucial. Because the installation of a Tesla factory requires a huge space: the one installed in Germany currently uses 300 hectares, and it should expand to an additional 100 hectares in the coming years.
For now, two regions are being mentioned: Hauts-de-France and Centre-Val de Loire. Specifically, the Châteauroux region, in Indre, presents itself as the ideal candidate. “By principle, Châteauroux is always a candidate for large-scale industrial projects, we have the advantage of having a very large area of available industrial land,” said Gil Avérous, the mayor of the city, interviewed by France 3.
It is true that the only “turnkey” site with more than 100 hectares available in France is indeed located in Châteauroux. But will this be enough to convince Elon Musk to choose France? The billionaire is particularly fond of the country’s nuclear energy policy, which could be an asset in the project. But one can imagine that the Elysée has other arguments to put forward to push this project. In Spain, there are rumors that the billionaire could set up a gigafactory in the Valencia area. Nothing seems to be decided at the moment.