France Courts Tesla to Open Factory in an Old Nuclear Power Plant

Voulez-vous un…Tesla?

France is trying to woo Tesla Motors to build its first full-scale European factory in the country by offering up the site of an old nuclear power plant. The Fessenheim plant in northeastern Alsace is set to shut down permanently later this year.

On Tuesday French energy minister Ségolène Royal announced she’d like to repurpose the power plant into an electric car factory.

Royal said she told Tesla CEO Elon Musk, “I’ve got a spot for you.”

A new Tesla factory would help create jobs for nuclear power plant workers in Alsace, Royal says, and would help fuel what she calls the “industry of the future,” electric cars.

And it appears Musk might be interested too. He visited France earlier this year and flirted, albeit hypothetically, with the idea of putting a European Tesla plant in Alsace:

“This is idle speculation but it’s like, well, maybe we could put a factory in Alsace,” Musk said. “It’s like half in Germany, half in France.”

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Tesla already has one smaller assembly plant in the Netherlands, but the company still manufactures all of its cars in Fremont, Calif. Musk has said he’d like to develop more factories around the globe, probably starting with one in China and one in Europe.

Transforming the Fessenheim power plant into a Tesla car factory wouldn’t happen overnight. The nuclear plant must go through a decontamination first, a process that could take years, as Electrek reports.



Still, France has not been shy about courting the automaker, even releasing this new video asking Tesla to “continue the magic in Alsace.”

A Tesla spokesperson told Fortune via email that the company has “no current plans to open a factory in Europe.”

Royal says she’ll be meeting with top Tesla bosses in a little over a week. If her appeal is successful, it could be quite the French romance for the American automaker.

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