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Vaasa vies for Tesla Gigafactory

Tesla Motors is looking to establish a lithium ion battery factory somewhere in Europe, and Vaasa officials say the city is well-placed as a potential site.

An illustration of the planed Gigafactory. Image: Vaasan kaupunki

The city of Vaasa is investigating the possibility of applying for a Tesla "Gigafactory" to be established in its vicinity.

Tesla Motors energy company announced three weeks previously that it will be building a lithium ion battery factory somewhere in Europe. Vaasa's abundance of energy technology companies and its proximity to one of Europe's richest lithium mines could peg it for a possible choice.

"The Vaasa energy cluster and Tesla have a common goal: to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy," says Vaasa city manager Tomas Häyry. "This is a venture that would help build Vaasa's future for several generations."

The city is now organising a coalition of experts to look into the possibility of having the Gigafactory built in Vaasa. The group will include specialists in technology, research, logistics, economic affairs, project coordination and international communications.

The first feasibility study and process outline is due for completion in early 2017.

Tesla's first Gigafactory is already under construction in the US state of Nevada. When complete, it will be one of the largest buildings in the world. The European Gigafactory will also eventually start producing electric cars.