French Government Offers a Site for Tesla to Build Its European Factory

By Staff Writer

Apr 07, 2016 04:08 AM EDT

France's Minister of Environment and Energy Ségolène Royal is offering a manufacturing facility in the country for American automaker Tesla. The offer came after Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk spoke at an event in France of planning to establish a manufacturing facility for electric cars in Europe.

According to Reuters, the minister has offered France's oldest nuclear reactor site to be Tesla's European electric car factory, the Fessenheim in the Alsace region. The facility will be closed at the end of the year, as it is about to start processing its shutdown soon. Also, if Tesla accepts the offer, the company could use the place after the process is completed.

The French government has been planning to close the nuclear plant down but is facing resistance from local politicians and unions that would lose their jobs. The minister thought of a transformation of the site as a solution for the facility. "We need to give hope to this community. My idea is to bring a Tesla factory," Royal said. Fessenheim employed 850 staff and 250 contractors.

The minister said that she is delighted that Musk did not reject or say "no" to the offer. Royal is delighted by the possibility of building Tesla's facility in the site after the closing of the nuclear plant. "We turn the page and look to the future. And electric cars are the industry of the future," she added.

Even so, Royal admitted that there are some complexities to pursue that transformation. As noted by electrek, the decontamination of a nuclear plant can take years before the site could be used for other purposes. As the process is to start by the end of the year, it is most likely that Tesla will not be able to use the site soon.

The offer is not yet a reached deal and it could take time before an agreement is formed, but the local people are excited to possibly have Tesla around. According to Jalopnik, the people even edited a short video to advertise the potential Tesla site. As for now, the local officials are set to meet with Tesla's representatives this month to further discuss the possibility of a deal. 

Tesla has received an official offer from the French government, particularly the Minister of Environment and Energy, to take the country's site formerly used as a nuclear plant as a new manufacturing facility. The representatives from the company will meet region officials to discuss potential deal regarding the offer. Tesla's electric car factory is expected to keep local people employed after the nuclear plant shutdown. 

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