Electric car pioneer Elon Musk has picked Germany for his new factory because of Brexit, embarrassing Boris Johnson as he prepares to pledge a “clean energy revolution”.
The prime minister is due to make a televised speech at an electric car plant in the West Midlands but the visit risks being overshadowed by the Mr Musk’s change of heart.
At an award ceremony in Germany, the entrepreneur announced: “We’ve decided to put the Tesla Giga factory Europe in the Berlin area.”
And, speaking to Auto Express, he blamed Brexit uncertainty for his decision to drop plans to build a research and development base in the UK, which will now also go to Germany.
“Brexit made it too risky to put a Gigafactory in the UK,” Mr Musk said, referring to Tesla’s new battery and electric vehicle.
Mr Johnson has claimed investors are ready to unleash development plans in the UK if his Brexit deal is passed but is facing renewed criticism that it will be a hard Brexit that will deter companies.
To add to the embarrassment, his controversial chief aide Dominic Cummings was captured wearing an ‘Open AI’ t-shirt’ the Silicon Valley start-up Mr Musk founded on one of his first days in No 10.
Mr Johnson has faced growing criticism that he has failed to follow through on the landmark legal commitment enacted in Theresa May’s last days for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
He did announce plans to fund research to develop the world’s first nuclear fusion plant, but most experts believe achieving that dream is still 30 years away.