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Macron to meet Musk again as France pushes for Tesla gigafactory

Tesla considered France for its European gigafactory, seen here, before settling on Germany. Image: Tesla

France's President Emmanuel Macron is meeting Tesla CEO Elon Musk for the second time in a month on Friday, as he looks to promote the country for Tesla investments.

"I'm going into that meeting with an agenda," Macron told reporters at the VivaTech summit in Paris, which Musk will also visit.

Is that agenda a gigafactory? Macron answered that it was for Tesla to look at, but that he would be "selling France as an investment destination".

France has plans to become a global hub for electric vehicles and has been aggressively wooing companies with subsidies and business-friendly norms. President Macron has been personally involved in the push, having been directly involved in the country's bid that brought it a gigafactory from Taiwan's ProLogium.

France's northern region has so far attracted four gigafactory projects. Besides ProLogium, China's Envision AESC and local startup Verkor are also setting up gigafactories. Last month, the first gigafactory from the cluster – belonging to a consortium that includes Stellantis (a combination of Fiat, Chrysler and Peaugot), Mercedes-Benz and oil company Total – was inaugurated with an initial capacity of 13 gigawatt hours (GWh), that will rise to 40 GWh by 2030.

Musk had earlier met Macron in May, and said at that time he was confident of making "significant investments" in France for Tesla, but did not provide a timeline.

Tesla, maker of the world's best-selling car so far this year, runs only one gigafactory in Europe, in Germany.

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