Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly flew to France on Monday, May 15, 2023, to meet with President Emmanuel Macron. The occasion was the country’s annual Choose France summit in Versailles, though Macron has been trying to attract Musk and other investors for some time now, and he’s touting new tax credits as part of a potential deal.
Musk met the French president at his official residence, the Elysee Palace. This came after reports that investors at the event had already committed to some 13 billion euros ($14 billion) in investments alongside Macron. The president is in his second term of office, and won’t be able to run again, but he’s been hoping to secure some notable deals to help his reputation and legacy.
Macron is working to get investors to buy into green tech deals thanks to new tax credits that will benefit them. He tried to get Musk to build Tesla’s European Gigafactory in France years ago, but the CEO decided on the area near Berlin, Germany, instead. Just the fact that the CEO met personally with the French president is enough to pique interest, so it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.
While there is still no official word on whether Musk agreed to any investments or deals this time around, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire did note that all investments made during the event are the result of months or more of planning and negotiations. The minister was due to have lunch with Musk later that day, not long after his comments. The two were to reportedly discuss new tax credits attached to green technology investments.
In light of the US’ Inflation Reduction Act, along with the related progress the Biden administration has made for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, Macron initiated a new EV incentive. The French president said France is offering up to 5,000 euros for buyers of new electric cars produced in Europe.
Further reports suggest Musk is now considering some type of potential investment in France, though the details are slim. There’s a possibility France could become a location for another European Gigafactory or an EV battery factory. However, Tesla hasn’t yet made any comments on the matter.