The French government is planning to encourage Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) to build a new manufacturing plant in the country. The French energy minister has already stated that the government will offer a site which hosts an old nuclear power plant.
The Fessenheim plant which is located in northern Alsace will be closed permanently this year. French Energy Minister Ségolène Royal announced plans for the old nuclear plant to be transformed into an electric vehicle assembly plant. She also revealed that the government was offering Tesla the location and she had already informed Tesla CEO Elon Musk about it. The Energy Minister believes that a new Tesla plant in the country will help create employment for the workers of the nuclear plant. She also says that it will help fuel the electric vehicle industry.
Mr. Musk might also be interested in the proposal. Earlier this year, he visited the country and raised the idea of launching a Tesla plant in Europe, particularly in Alsace. He speculatively stated that a factory in Alsace would be ideal because it is also near Germany. The plant would also be a great addition to complement the small Tesla factory in the Netherlands. It would highlight Musk’s plan to launch more factories around the world with Europe and China in the forefront.
Royal stated that the biggest problem with the plan would be transforming the old nuclear plant. It will take some time before the site is ready because it has to be decontaminated first and the decontamination process might take years. France is the largest EV market in Europe, and that is partly because the government has a policy which offers buyers a bonus of up to €10,000. The presence of a Tesla plant in the country would also lead to further incentives that would allow for better pricing. During a briefing on Tuesday, Royal stated that the Tesla CEO was considering whether to set up the plant in Germany or France.