Tesla's Musk discusses vaccine project, car plant with German politicians

September 2, 2020 3:50 AM EDT

FILE PHOTO: SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the automobile awards "Das Goldene Lenkrad" given by a German newspaper in Berlin, Germany, November 12, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Tesla Inc's (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk met with three German ministers and other senior politicians on Wednesday to discuss the progress of a collaboration between the car maker and a German biotech company and a planned electric vehicle factory.

Ralph Brinkhaus, leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU/CSU conservative parliamentary bloc, said Musk was satisfied with the progress of Tesla's alliance with vaccine developer CureVac (NASDAQ: CVAC).

On the sidelines of a conference of the parliamentary bloc in Berlin, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur also met economy minister Peter Altmaier, health minister Jens Spahn and research minister Anja Karliczek, but not Merkel.

Tesla is helping to build mobile molecule printers to make the potential COVID-19 vaccine under development by CureVac.

Last November, the U.S. electric carmaker announced plans to build a Gigafactory in Gruenheide in the eastern state of Brandenburg that surrounds Berlin.

Musk checked on the progress of that project, meeting earlier with Brandenburg state premier Dietmar Woidke.

"It was a very pleasant and focused conversation. Elon Musk is familiar with all the details of the Gruenheide Gigafactory," Woidke said in a statement.

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke and Christian Krämer; writing by Thomas Seythal and Ludwig Burger; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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