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German consortium to build a Tesla gigafactory rival

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

The world's second largest exporter is gearing up to compete with California's Tesla, by building its own advanced battery plant, Bloomberg reports. The wire quotes Holger Gritzka, a former steel executive who says he is organizing a consortium of 17 Germany companies to collaborate in mass-production of advanced lithium-ion batteries, to power electric vehicles and store sustainably-sourced energy.

Why it matters: The group has already won the favor of the German government, which is supplying subsidies for the project, reflecting that Germany sees mastering the technology as a national priority. China, which already has the lead in lithium-ion battery production, has also made advanced battery production a priority, lavishing government assistance on the industry. The U.S., too, is in the race, continuing to see the dividends of a $2.4 billion federal investment in lithium-ion technology in 2009, when Obama administration economic stimulus legislation seeded the U.S. advanced battery industry from scratch.