Tesla could start construction on German e-car factory this month

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Tesla could break ground on its new e-car factory outside Berlin as soon as this month, and the company could be eligible for 280 million euro in subsidies from the regional government, Brandenburg state economy minister Jörg Steinbach told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).

“In theory, Tesla could receive around 280 million euro in subsidies from the state,” Steinbach said.

The company plans to invest about 4 billion euros in the facility and says it could hire as many as 12,000 people.

The IG Metall metalworkers’ union has expressed worries that Tesla plans to rely on cheaper labor from Poland, business daily Handelsblatt reports, according to CLEW.

Steinbach told FAZ that while some of the workforce may come from Poland, he expects most will not, and that Tesla will adhere to the same conditions as the rest of the German auto industry: “We told Tesla from the outset that a company of this size is expected to comply with co-determination and collective agreements. And I firmly believe that Tesla will do the same,” Steinbach told the FAZ. “But now is not the time to exert pressure. First, this factory has to be built.”

Tesla has said it plans to produce 500,000 electric vehicles per year at the plant in Grünheide, Brandenburg, starting in 2021.

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