Musk urged to build Tesla factory in Teeside

Elon Musk

The world’s richest man Elon Musk has been urged to construct a Tesla plant in North East England, after the electric vehicle giant revealed ambitions to build a dozen new factories worldwide.

Ben Houchen, the Conservative Mayor for Tees Valley, wrote to Mr Musk on Friday calling on the Tesla billionaire to build a plant in the region.

In a letter seen by The Telegraph, Houchen argued Teesside could offer Tesla “hundreds of acres of ideal developable land” while avoiding “the bureaucratic entanglements seen at other sites”.

He also suggested Teesside would be able to offer Tesla access to customs incentives via the Teesside Freeport, which opened in November 2021.

He said: “In the UK, where we have an £82bn automobile industry which leads the world in production of high end vehicles, it would surely make sense for Tesla to develop a serious presence, with Teesside being the best possible location to do this.”

Tesla has suffered delays in getting its Berlin car factory up and running, with Musk has criticising the red tape involved in opening the German plant.

This includes objections from unions and environmental protesters.

Houchen’s letter follows Musk revealing this week that Tesla planned to open up more factories to add to its plants in California, New York, Texas, Berlin and Shanghai.

He told investors the company planned to build “at least 10 or 12 gigafactories” and could announce its next site by the end of the year.

Tesla is currently planning to produce 1.5m vehicles in 2022, but Mr Musk ultimately wants Tesla to build as many as 20m cars per year.

That would be double the number of Toyota, the world’s largest car manufacturer, which sold 9.6 million cars last year.

So far this year, a total of 21,000 new Tesla’s have entered the UK market this year.

The UK has banned new petrol vehicle sales from 2030 – which has incentivised the growth of electric vehicles .

In 2019, Musk admitted that Brexit prevented him from picking the UK for a Tesla factory.

He said: “Brexit made it too risky to put a gigafactory in the UK.”