Tesla Motors will build a plant in Europe once it sold 160,000 electric cars annually in the continent, chief executive Elon Musk told Automotive News Europe. Tesla will also launch a European r&d center in the United Kingdom either in 2015 or 2016, and will expand its Tilburg final assembly site in the Netherlands.
Tesla’s CEO said that his aspirations for Europe entail selling a comparable number of cars in Europe as in the United States. Musk hinted at sharing Tesla’s patents to urge other carmakers to embrace electric vehicles, even suggesting that an announcement is on the way.
After remarking that he was surprised at how few carmakers build “serious” electric vehicles during Tesla’s annual meeting earlier this month, he disclosed that he has plans to do “something fairly significant on that front,” which he said would be controversial with respect to Tesla’s patents.
The carmaker is planning to hike sales of the Model S sedan by over 56 percent in 2014 by through expansions in China and other global markets.
Musk has remarked that Tesla’s target of offering lower-priced EVs within the next three years relies on the battery “gigafactory” that would serve well to ease limitations on production.
Tesla has already has worked other carmakers to help bring EVs to market. In fact, Tesla has supplied battery packs to Toyota and Daimler. Tesla sold 3,467 Model S units in the first four months, according to JATO Dynamics market researchers.