Electric car firm Tesla urged to build factory in Sheffield

Master Cutler Craig McKay at the wheel of his Tesla
Master Cutler Craig McKay at the wheel of his Tesla
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Electric car firm Tesla could build a factory in Sheffield if boss Elon Musk accepts an invitation from Master Cutler Craig McKay.

The head of the manufacturers’ organisation has written to the Californian company urging it to choose the region for its European factory.

Tesla S

Tesla S

Tesla made worldwide headlines last week after it announced its latest vehicle, the Model 3. It has so far received 325,000 pre-orders. Set to cost £25,000, if all the sales are delivered the firm will rake in more than £8bn.

Tesla boss Elon Musk has stated he wants to build a factory in Europe to meet demand.

Now Mr McKay has written to his UK contact setting out the region’s advantages, including expertise in advanced manufacturing, a talent pipeline from the city’s two universities, plans for an advanced manufacturing innovation district and enterprise zones offering tax breaks, fast-track planning and superfast broadband.

He said: “We’ve got all the right ingredients for Tesla to build a factory and move into the future.

“I know it’s speculative, but it’s the type of thing the Cutlers’ Company aims to do. Elon Musk or his representative can come at their leisure, I would be happy to host and show them what makes Sheffield City Region great.”

Mr McKay bought a Tesla S70D in January and loves it.

He added: “It’s fantastic, I wouldn’t go back to petrol.”

The car, which has a range of between 200 and 300 miles, can be charged using an ordinary three-pin socket at home, or at any electric charging point.

At home it charges at ‘seven miles an hour’, rising to 350 miles an hour at Tesla’s own sites, Mr McKay said.

Owners pay no road tax and no congestion charge and recharging away from home is free.

The firm is exhibiting a car at the Get Up To Speed with engineering and manufacturing event for youngsters at Magna on Wednesday April 20.

Mr McKay used his contacts to invite business secretary Sajid Javid, who is battling to save steel firm Tata UK’s South Yorkshire plants, to speak at the Cutlers’ Feast next month.