Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Tesla denies plan to build ‘Semi’ in Russia

Image copyright Tesla Image caption Tesla’s ‘Semi’ is also known as Tesla Mobile

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has dismissed a report that his electric car company will build its newest vehicle, the “Semi”, in Russia.

“Russia doesn’t make Lada roads, and there is no contract to do so, unless I’m mistaken,” he said on Twitter.

In a BBC interview in April, Russian entrepreneur Kirill Dmitriev said Tesla would bring “innovation” to the market through a subsidiary.

But in a statement to the BBC the London-based firm denied it would build a factory there.

“Tengizchevroil is the lead partner in the Russia program, with the full control of the joint venture,” the statement said.

Tesla currently produces its Model 3, launched in 2016, and the so-called Semi truck.

Speaking with the BBC’s Sophia Smith in April, Mr Dmitriev said Tesla’s vehicle development would “challenge traditional car makers”, bringing “modern technology to a non-electronic Russian market”.

It did not specify which Russian authorities were seeking to bring the technology to the market, but news reports have suggested some of them would like to see technological advances outside of the country.

In its statement, Tesla said there had been “absolutely no production announcement” about a Russia plant.

“We’ll be able to confirm any changes on our internal timeline once contractually committed partners have been identified,” it said.

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