Jeremy Vine guests discuss government's electric car pledge
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Tesla founder Elon Musk visited the UK last weekend for just 48 hours under speculation he visited the Prime Minister’s country residence at Chequers. According to the Telegraph, mInisters are said to be frantically searching for a site capable of holding the mammoth electric car brand, which would provide a boost for jobs.
Their sources said the new Office for Investment called on agencies to submit proposals for possible locations within just 48 hours.
Tesla stoked the rumours last month after hiring a new UK head of public policy and business development suggesting a shift in approach.
Elon Musk has previously considered UK sites for a gigafactory but has yet to sign any agreements.
He looked at Somerset’s Gravity business park last year but a deal has not yet been struck.
However, it could not be confirmed the Tesla owner was in the country looking for a new site.
He has also held talks this year about using his Starlink satellite internet firm to roll out broadband to remote areas of the UK so the visit could be linked to this.
Back in 2019, he said Brexit was too much of a risk for a car investment in the UK.
Instead, Tesla has built a Gigafactory in nearby Germany, which should cater to much of the European market.
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He previously said German engineering “was outstanding” and was “part of the reason” the factory had been located there.
Other electric car brands have also been linked to a UK move, which could prove vital if a deal with Tesla fails to materials.
Amazon backed electric car firm Rivian said it was conjuring locations such as the UK, Hungary and Germany.
Coventry Airport has been earmarked as a possible site for a gigafactory and could be operational by 2025.
If the plant was built, it is expected local firms such as Jaguar Land Rover or Aston Martin may consider using the new factory for their electric range.
Back in February, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and traders pressed ahead with calls for a gigafactory to be built in the UK.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive said the industry needed to secure its “medium to long-term future” by attracting battery investment.
He said this would help to “transform the supply chain” for car development in the UK.
He said: “Whilst there have been some very welcome recent announcements, we need to secure our medium to long-term future by creating the conditions that will attract battery gigafactory investment and transform the supply chain.”
In his green 10 point plan, Boris Johnson highlighted the need for a ”world-leading EV supply chain”.
He confirmed the Government would offer investment in getting Gigafactories off the ground which would create thousands of jobs.
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