Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla, plans to open an engineering facility called Tesla Greece to develop new electric motor technologies.
Three of Tesla’s top designers are of Greek origin and have degrees from the National Technical University of Athens. Tesla’s plans for Greece are of great significance for Greece.
The plans are so important that the head of the Hellenic Entrepreneurs’ Association, Vasilis Apostolopoulos, has said his own industrial plant could be used for free as a testing ground for new products.
“I have personally emailed Musk to welcome Tesla Greece … and to say that for the next 10 years I will give, at zero cost to his company, my group’s own industrial plant outside Corinth so that Greece can be on the frontline of global innovation,” the Guardian reported Apostolopoulos as saying at the annual Delphi economic forum.
Apostolopoulos said the move was a “vote of confidence” in the debt-ridden country. Apostolopoulos, who is also the CEO of the Athens Medical Group, a leading private healthcare provider, said he would provide full medical coverage for a year to all of Tesla Greece’s staff members as well as the international staff visiting the country on company business.
“It is the least we can do to thank and welcome Mr. Musk’s vote of confidence in Hellenic business, research and technology,” he said.
Recruiting engineers from Demokritos Center
The electric car manufacturer does not have a presence in Europe, apart from the UK, the Netherlands and Germany. Tesla Greece is expected to embody a small team of specialized individuals, who will concentrate on the development of electric motor technology.
It is thought that Tesla’s Greek office could attract at least 50 engineers from the state-owned Demokritos Center for Scientific Research. There is expected to be a research and development center in the facility, which will work as a base for southeast Europe.
“Greece has a strong electric motor engineering talent, and technical universities offering tailored programmes and specialized skills for electric motor technology,” a spokesperson said, according to Electrek.
Under the company’s plans, it is thought that Tesla’s three Greek designers, principal motor designer Konstantinos Laskaris; motor design engineer Konstantinos Bourchas; and staff motor design engineer Vasilis Papanikolaou will be moving back to Athens.
“We are very happy to receive all the talented engineers who are returning to work beside us,” the Demokritos Center said in a statement.
It has been reported that Tesla has already been in talks with Greek government officials in the past few months. It is also thought that Kostis Laskaris, Tesla’s Chief Motor Designer, has played a significant role in this move.
The move will benefit both Tesla and Greek economy
The move is thought to have enormous benefits for Greek economy as well as for Tesla, which has reported losses in the last quarter of 2017 and has been struggling to meet production targets. Tesla reported losses of $675.4 million in the three months ending on 31 December. The company had reported losses of $121 million for the same period in 2016.
Tesla has spent a lot producing the next generation of electric cars, the Model 3 sedan, a semi truck and other products. The company has also had a hard time keeping up with is production targets for the Model 3.