Elon Musk has pledged to seriously consider England for a Tesla gigafactory, as the electric car-maker ramps up production across the world.
The billionaire said on Tuesday night that Tesla will make decisions about future manufacturing sites over the coming months.
“We are not currently looking at new locations, but we will probably towards the end of this year,” he told The Wall Street Journal CEO Council in London. Asked about the prospect of Tesla establishing a site in the UK, Musk said he would “strongly consider England” as a future gigafactory location.
The Tesla chief executive’s remarks will further intensify interest in the company’s manufacturing plans. Just last week, having visited the Elysée Palace as the star guest at President Macron’s annual summit of global executives, Musk signalled that the business would invest significantly in France.
Tesla’s one current European gigafactory, in Germany, opened for business in March last year and is now making about 5,000 cars each week.
While the company’s relationship with Britain was once strong enough for it to consider building a research and development facility in the country in 2014, this did not come to pass. Musk, 51, later suggested that the vote to leave the EU had made it “too risky” to construct a gigafactory in Britain.
Having led the electric revolution, Tesla has ambitious production plans — targeting sales of 20 million vehicles by 2030, up from 1.31 million deliveries last year — and needs to increase its manufacturing capacity.
Musk also presides over Twitter; the rockets and satellites business SpaceX; The Boring Company, a tunnelling venture; and Neuralink, a start-up vying to implant microchips in the human brain.
Appearing remotely at the Wall Street Journal event, Musk said he had identified a successor to Tesla’s board who, “in a worst-case scenario”, could run the business. “I’ve told the board, ‘Look, if something happens to me unexpectedly, this is my recommendation for taking over,’ ” he said.