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German biotech CureVac confirms Elon Musk visit this week

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·Germany Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·2-min read
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11 August 2020, Brandenburg, Grünheide: Cranes, construction machinery and the first concrete pillars for the future Tesla Giga Factory can be seen on the construction site. In Grünheide near Berlin, a maximum of 500,000 vehicles per year are to roll off the assembly line from July 2021 - and according to the car manufacturer's plans, the maximum should be reached as quickly as possible. For the time being, the US electric car manufacturer expects up to 10,500 employees in shift operation for its planned first factory in Europe. Photo: Patrick Pleul/dpa-Zentralbild/ZB (Photo by Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Construction ramps up at the future Tesla Giga Factory in Germany. Photo: Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Tesla (TSLA) chief executive Elon Musk is Germany-bound this week to visit the construction site of his new electric-car factory near Berlin, and to meet with German biotech company CureVac (CVAC).

CureVac confirmed by email that Musk will visit the company in Tübingen this week, but said that there is no press release or press conference planned for the time being.

Musk tweeted on Sunday 30 August that: “Tesla, as a side project, is building RNA microfactories for CureVac & possibly others.”

Elon Musk Twitter
Elon Musk Twitter

Electrek reported in July that a patent application revealed Tesla has been working with CureVac on a “bioreactor for RNA” for over a year. Tesla’s Grohmann engineering company in Prüm, in the Eifel region of Germany, is reportedly involved in developing the micro-factories for CureVac.

CureVac, which listed on the Nasdaq in August, is one of the leading German biotechs in the process of developing a potential m-RNA vaccine against COVID-19.

READ MORE: COVID-19 vaccine: GlaxoSmithKline invests £130m in Germany’s CureVac

The German government invested €300m (£267m, $359m) in the privately-owned firm in June, taking a 23% stake, and British pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) invested £130m for a 10% stake in July.

Musk said he was also planning to visit his new electric-car plant in Grünheide, Brandenburg this week. Construction of Tesla’s new Gigafactory the state surrounding Berlin, has been powering ahead since February this year.

The carmaker is still awaiting the final building permit and environmental approval, but plans to roll the first Model Y vehicles off the line by summer next year, targeting an eventual production volume of half a million units per year at full capacity, and employing around 10,000 staff. It also plans to eventually produce battery cells at the German site.

READ MORE: German government sees Tesla plant as catalyst for other large-scale projects

The factory site has attracted protests, mainly from locals, who are worried about the plant’s water usage, and environmental damage to the surrounding rural area.

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