Tesla wants to build electric vans, trucks in Italy – report

US electric vehicle (EV) giant Tesla is reportedly looking to produce battery-powered trucks or vans in Italy, with negotiations underway between the carmaker and the country’s government.

A report by Italian publication Il Sole 24 Ore claims representatives from the Ministry of Business and Made in Italy (Mimit) have been in talks with multiple EV manufacturers to build a factory in the nation’s south.

While initial talks centred on Chinese brands such as BYD, Great Wall Motors and Chery, it’s now understood discussions have turned to Tesla – though production in the factory would be centred around trucks and/or vans, rather than cars.

Tesla has previously teased what appeared to be a van underneath a cover as a part of its 2023 Investors Day presentation, however it has remained coy on solid production plans for a light commercial vehicle.

The EV specialist does now make a truck, after the first deliveries of the Tesla Semi began in late 2022, though production is currently limited to a single factory in the US state of Nevada.

Earlier this month, Handelsblatt reported Tesla CEO Elon Musk told workers at the company’s Berlin factory – which currently produces the Model Y SUV for the European market – that he intends for the Semi to also be built in the German plant.

Recent overseas reports within the past year have also claimed Tesla is looking to expand its manufacturing ventures to India, while it has confirmed another plant in Mexico.

Both countries have been linked to producing a new car with a sub-US$25,000 (A$38,300) price tag.

The news of Tesla’s potential expansion into Italy comes a month after reports that Stellantis – the parent company of Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Maserati, among others – is considering producing approximately 150,000 EVs in the country alongside its Chinese partner Leapmotor.

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares recently told Il Sole 24 Ore that European manufacturers are at risk of losing market share to Chinese brands, urging continental companies to adapt to the “type of competition existing in the electric vehicle market”.

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