Tesla (TSLA) chief executive Elon Musk met lawmakers from Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party in Berlin on Tuesday afternoon on the sidelines of their parliamentary group meeting.
Musk met health minister Jens Spahn, CDU faction leader Ralph Brinkhaus, and economy minister Peter Altmaier. He did not meet Merkel, who was also at the caucus day.
Altmaier told the electric-car pioneer that the German government “will help in whatever way needed to get Tesla's Berlin plant up and running.”
“We are very proud of your car plant in Brandenburg and we wish you good luck with that,” Altmaier told Musk. “You’ll have every assistance you need.”
Tesla is currently building a huge Gigafactory car plant in Grünheide in the state of Brandenburg, which surrounds the capital Berlin. German politicians broadly feted Musk’s decision last year to pick Germany for the location of the first Tesla Gigafactory in Europe.
Germany’s small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) commissioner Thomas Bareiß said last month that the speed and scale of Tesla project sends a positive signal about Germany as a place to get large projects done.
The plant, which Tesla is aiming to have ready by mid-2021, will aim to produce 500,000 vehicles a year at full capacity, and it has said it will create around 10,000 jobs.
Musk arrived in Germany on Tuesday (1 September) and made a visit to biotech company CureVac (CVAC), which is currently working on a potential vaccine for COVID-10.
Musk tweeted on Sunday 30 August that: “Tesla, as a side project, is building RNA microfactories for CureVac & possibly others.” Tesla’s German subsidiary Grohmann is reportedly developing an RNA printer for faster vaccine production.
Speaking about the cooperation between Grohmann and CureVac in Berlin today, CDU faction leader Ralph Brinkhaus said: "International networking is important."
CureVac boss Franz-Werner Haas told Reuters that it would not have been possible to move forward without the automation technology from Tesla Grohmann.