BERLIN — Elon Musk announced on Tuesday night that Tesla, the electric carmaker, would open a new plant close to the German capital that would make batteries, powertrains and vehicles, starting with the company’s newest model, a compact sport utility vehicle called the Model Y.
Mr. Musk made the announcement on a Berlin stage after being awarded the “Golden Steering Wheel,” a German automobile prize, for the Tesla Model 3.
“I actually have an announcement, that I think will hopefully be well received,” he said. “We’ve decided to put the Tesla Gigafactory Europe in the Berlin area,” referring to the automobile plant.
He provided few details about the plant, which would be Tesla’s first factory in Europe, including when and where exactly it would be built or how many people would be hired.
Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, is quickly becoming the European battleground for building electric vehicles, as both the German government and manufacturers invest in the new technology. Mr. Musk had mentioned that Tesla would build a factory somewhere in Europe during the company’s last earnings report conference call in October.
Mr. Musk followed the surprise statement with a Twitter message to his nearly 39 million followers with the words “GIGA BERLIN” and hearts in the colors of the German flag.
“I come to Berlin a lot,” Mr. Musk told the crowd. “Berlin rocks!”