US-based electric carmaker Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) is setting up an R&D representative office in Israel, sources inform "Globes." The news comes at the same time as Elon Musk's electric car giant is set to begin marketing its cars and solar energy products in Israel.
In the first stage, Israel R&D operations will focus on scouting for local startups and technologies involved in areas of interest for Tesla as well as talks and information exchange with Israeli companies, with some of whom Tesla has already had a business and technological relationship over the past two or three years.
These include at least two to three auto-tech companies as well as artificial intelligence (AI) developers and advanced avionics companies as well as companies in other fields.
Tesla's R&D Division is considered one of the largest and most sophisticated operating in the US today. It is involved in many futuristic and breakthrough engineering fields including electric vehicles, next generation batteries, rocket propulsion, advanced communications, solar energy, AI, laboratory planning, and more. In 2018 alone, Tesla spent $1.5 billion on R&D, double the amount it spent in 2016.