“You will have all the help you need,” Altmaier reportedly said in a meeting with lawmakers from Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party.
CNBC sought to verify the comments, but Tesla and the German government did not immediately respond.
Tesla announced its last Gigafactory in November and it’s currently under construction. It is the company’s first European plant and the fourth in the world. The original Gigafactory is in Nevada and the other two are in Buffalo, New York and Shanghai, China. A fifth “Cybertruck Gigafactory” is planned for Texas.
The German plant – located about 20 miles southeast of Berlin in the Brandenburg town of Gruenheide – could employ around 12,000 people and manufacture up to 500,000 vehicles per year when operational. Production is expected to start in summer 2021.
In Berlin, Musk met the Prime Minister of the State of Brandenburg, Dietmar Woidke. “It was a very pleasant and focused conversation,” Woidke said in a statement. “Elon Musk knows all the details of the Gruenheide Gigafactory. ”
Fans and protesters gathered at the Gruenheide site as the billionaire passed on Wednesday.
Environmental activists halted development at the plant for a few days in February after voicing concerns over Tesla’s plan to cut down trees to clear land for the new plant. However, the local government agency that oversees the planned site has given him permission to clear 91 hectares of forest land.
Musk has been traveling to Germany since Tuesday. He visited the vaccine development company CureVac in Tübingen before going to Berlin. Tesla is helping CureVac build mobile molecular printers that could support the development of a potential coronavirus vaccine.
During his trip, Musk also met with Minister of Health Jens Spahn, Minister of Research Anja Karliczek and CDU faction leader Ralph Brinkhaus. He discussed the progress of a collaboration between the automaker and Curevac, as well as the planned auto plant, according to Reuters.