Tesla boss Elon Musk is expected on Wednesday on the sidelines of the meeting of the leaders of the Union parliamentary group in Berlin.
Group leader Ralph Brinkhaus (CDU) did not want to explicitly confirm the visit at the beginning, but said to a corresponding question: “That could well be.” According to information from the German Press Agency, a meeting between Musk and Economics Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) on the sidelines of the retreat was also planned.
Brinkhaus referred to a machine from the company Tesla Grohmann Automation for fully automated vaccine production, which was set up in the foyer of the closed building. According to reports, a photo session between the group leaders and Musk could take place there in the afternoon (4.15 p.m.). “Let’s see what happens during the day,” said Brinkhaus.
Tesla Grohmann Automation claims that it is one of the world’s leading companies for highly automated production systems. It has its headquarters in Prüm, Rhineland-Palatinate. Musk owned the biotech company on Tuesday CureVacwho is working on a COVID-19 vaccine, visited in Tübingen.
CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt said at the start of the exam that Germany and Europe had to show that they were able to master the challenge of the corona pandemic with confidence. “Sovereignty also means that we put ourselves in a position to approach (ourselves) the pandemic issues” and, for example, to produce protective equipment in Germany and to support medical developments. Germany must be at the forefront here and must not wait “for others to implement these research developments”.
Musk announced on Twitter on Sunday evening that he was coming to Germany to work with CureVac and to build the electric car factory in Grünheide near Berlin. CureVac is considered to be a beacon of hope in the search for a corona vaccine. The EU Commission had already secured up to 405 million doses of a vaccine from the Tübingen company. “Tesla is building RNA microfactories as a side project for CureVac and possibly others,” Musk said.
E-car pioneer Tesla enters the energy market in Germany
Tesla has already rolled out the automotive industry, and now the electric car pioneer is targeting the energy industry in Germany.
Elon Musk’s group, who is currently visiting Germany, is sounding out whether customers might be interested in a new electricity tariff from Tesla and is bringing its battery, solar and storage technology into play. “Would you buy a photovoltaic system and a home storage system (Tesla Powerwall) from Tesla if you could switch to a specially developed Tesla electricity tariff?” . If the market entry into electricity sales succeeds, the newcomer could, according to experts, stir up the industry with top dogs like E.ON or RWE – especially if he brings one or more partners on board. Tesla did not want to comment on this when asked.
Tesla laid the foundations for a foray into the energy market long ago. The products for the home include the Powerwall, a battery system that can be used to store solar power. And in June the company secured a trading license on the Paris energy exchange EPEX, which covers two thirds of the north-western European short-term electricity market. This means that electricity can be purchased for the following day and within one day. “Tesla is not really a car company,” said the head of the consulting firm Munro & Associates, Sandy Munro. “They look at the subject of energy and how they can master it.”
Control over loading times
Tesla’s interest in renewable energy is also one of the reasons that the company has chosen Brandenburg as the location for its new car factory, as an insider tells Reuters. Numerous wind turbines turn in Brandenburg. However, these often produce more electricity than is needed. This is where Tesla comes in. With its batteries for cars and homes and its software, Tesla could turn the excess electricity into a business.
In any case, the Californian company has new ideas: In the letter, customers are asked whether they would be happy if Tesla took control of the charging times of their electric cars. Then Tesla could buy green electricity for charging at surplus times, for example at night, industry experts describe the ulterior motive. With the help of the proceeds from the sale of electricity, Tesla could lower the prices for its vehicles and thus increase the pressure on car manufacturers such as Volkswagen, Audi, Daimler, BMW or Porsche.
The rivals in the e-mobility business include large utilities such as E.ON, EnBW and Vattenfall. The electricity storage company Sonnen, which belongs to the oil giant Shell, and the green electricity provider LichtBlick, which uses its swarm battery to monitor, store and feed solar electricity into the public grid, are pursuing business models similar to Tesla. “The next logical step for Tesla would be to start production, especially of renewable energies,” says Berthold Hannes, a long-time consultant in the energy sector. “Tesla could use its own locations, for example the roofs of the plants or charging stations, or alternatively or additionally get involved with operators of solar systems or wind farms.”
However, there is still a long way to go before Tesla becomes a major electricity provider in Germany. “It is unlikely that Tesla will enter German electricity sales alone in the foreseeable future,” says the portfolio manager of the Union Investment fund company, Thomas Deser. “Together with a competent partner from the energy industry it could look different.” However, it is unclear how many vehicles are constantly connected to the power grid. The network question is also open. “Tesla would be dependent on the existing power grid. There, however, Tesla could be countered by the traditional suppliers.” Andreas Radics, partner at the strategy consultancy Berylls, also sees the fragmented market landscape for electricity as a hurdle. “It would be difficult to prevail. It wouldn’t be an easy win,” he said.
Consultant Munro, on the other hand, is convinced of the abilities of the charismatic entrepreneur Musks: “Tesla will dominate the market. I’m sure of that.”
Tesla shares are quoted on Wednesday in NASDAQ trading at times 0.45 percent in the red at 472.90 US dollars. (Dpa-AFX / Reuters)
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