US electric carmaker Tesla is reportedly working with the UK government to find a 3.7 million sq m site in the UK for research, development and manufacturing.
Tesla has set its sights on rapid European expansion and was reported to be looking at the 650-acre Gravity industrial park near Bristol. Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportledy visited the site in early June to assess its suitability.
The UK government has thrown its weight behind the development of electric vehicle manufacturing in the country and outlined this ambition in its December election manifesto.
“The government is working with industry to help make the UK the location of choice to develop world-class vehicle technologies,” a government representative told Property Week on May 28.
The UK lost out to Berlin, Germany last year in its efforts to attract Tesla’s first European gigafactory with Mr Musk citing concerns over risks posed by Brexit.
The UK lags behind its European counterparts in attracting foreign investment in the battery sector. Germany has attracted more than three times the number of greenfield FDI projects as the UK in the battery industry since 2003, while France has attracted five more projects than the UK, according to fDi Markets.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecasts that UK electric vehicle sales will rise from 3.4% of all vehicles sold in 2019 to account for a fifth of sales in 2026.