Tesla didn’t want to wait for EU help – German Economy Minister

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A Tesla logo is seen on the body of its electric vehicle (EV) during a media day for the Auto Shanghai show in Shanghai, China April 20, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song

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BERLIN, Dec 6 (Reuters) – Tesla (TSLA.O) did not want to wait for European authorities to make a decision on public funding of its battery factory project before continuing with construction of its site in Germany, said the outgoing German economy minister. Peter Altmaier told reporters in Berlin on Monday.

As a foreign company, Tesla would have been eligible for state aid of up to 40% of its investment under a European Union program that encourages production within the bloc.

Under this program, the American company could have received up to approximately 1.1 billion euros (1.24 billion dollars).

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Due to the explosion in demand for battery cells, Tesla voluntarily decided at the end of November to start building a battery factory at its Gruenheide site outside Berlin without state aid and withdrew the corresponding request.

Tesla is building its first European electric car factory as well as a battery factory on the site in the state of Brandenburg.

It is still waiting to receive final permit approval for the site from the authorities, which is expected before the end of the year.

($1 = 0.8854 euros)

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Reporting by Christian Kraemer, Writing by Miranda Murray Editing by Paul Carrel

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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