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News: DfT swerves questions on talks with electric car tsar Elon Musk

Tesla boss has had six meetings with government in last seven months


Elon Musk DfT

WHAT HAS the government got to hide? Officials at the DfT have partially rejected a freedom of information request made by Driving, citing a catch-all get-out clause to obscure details of its meetings with Elon Musk (above), the American entrepreneur who is the UK’s electric car tsar.

In a heavily redacted response to last month’s request for information about its dealings with Musk or representatives of Tesla, the electric vehicle company he founded, the DfT admitted having six meetings between December 2013 and last month. It applied an exemption to one encounter that took place in March, on the basis that to reveal more might prejudice commercial interests.

Musk is installing dozens of rapid recharging stations on the forecourts of motorway service facilities. He recently said he hoped to open a Tesla factory in Europe.

According to the redacted letter, an unnamed Tesla executive met Michael Hurwitz, a DfT official, at the department’s headquarters in London. The report of the meeting reveals Tesla’s plans for increased sales in Britain and its support for more tax incentives for electric vehicles.

It also hints at plans for a larger Tesla presence in Britain. “They [Tesla] also want to open [redacted], so good jobs/skills story.”

 


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