DrAccording to a media report, electric car maker Tesla has halted a battery plant project in Germany for the time being. As the Wall Street Journal reports, billionaire Elon Musk’s company is currently examining whether a US location would be more beneficial in light of a new US law to boost domestic battery production.
On Friday morning German time, Tesla said it would continue to rely on battery production in Germany, but would prioritize the United States initially due to the prospect of extensive funding. The company made this clear to its partners in the region, according to the German news agency. Ideally, the company explained, battery manufacturers would be boosted as quickly as possible. When asked, Tesla did not comment on the matter.
The administration of President Joe Biden plans to give US citizens $7,500 in tax credits for purchasing US-made electric cars with a US-made battery. Tesla planned to build a battery factory in Germany as well as an automobile factory already built near Berlin. Batteries should also be shipped to the US to be installed in vehicles, if at all possible.
The Wall Street Journal, citing informed sources, reported that Musk first wanted to examine the effects of US law and was delaying its project in Germany until then. The manufacturer also filed a file with 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.
EU Commission calls tax breaks ‘discriminatory’
On Sunday, Brandenburg Prime Minister Dietmar Voedek and Economy Minister Jörg Steinbach (both SPD) travel to the United States. In addition to the political talks in Washington, a meeting with representatives of electric car maker Tesla is also scheduled. It was clear if Tesla chief Elon Musk would participate as well.
The US government’s plans are also being viewed critically in Brussels. The EU Commission has described tax breaks for buyers of US products as “discriminatory”. A spokeswoman said the Brussels Authority sees this as a disadvantage for companies that source batteries for their electric cars from abroad. This violates the rules of the World Trade Organization.
Federal Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) said he also spoke to his American colleague about the relevant law on the sidelines of the Group of Seven trade ministers meeting. He added that it was normal for him to refer to “the interests of German companies or European companies” when speaking with partners. It’s also about “fair trade”.
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