Tesla wants to move ahead with the construction of the buildings at Gigafactory Berlin without the final approval for the project.
Gigafactory Berlin is critical to Tesla’s plan in Europe.
The automaker wants to slash costs by producing vehicles locally and avoid the expense of shipping vehicles from California to the old continent.
Furthermore, Tesla doesn’t plan to launch Model Y in the market until it is produced at Gigafactory Berlin.
Tesla is planning to start production at the new factory in July 2021 and it needs to stick to a strict construction timeline to be ready to start production in just 12 months.
The global pandemic hasn’t helped and now some fear that Tesla could fall behind the timeline.
In order to avoid that, Tesla is reportedly seeking to start building the factory’s shell despite not having full approval for the project yet.
Germany’s Postdamer reported (translated from German):
“At the request of this newspaper, the Brandenburg Ministry of the Environment confirmed on Monday that Tesla, along with amended documents on the previous application for approval under the Federal Immission Control Act for the factory, had “submitted another application for approval of the early start of measures… for parts of a building shell”. “The application is being examined. At the time of approval, no statement can yet be made, ”said the ministry. So far, Tesla has already cleared 90 hectares of pine forest on the 300 hectare site with the green light of the Brandenburg authorities and has leveled the ground for the construction site at its own risk.”
To date, the government has approved 3 steps of the project including foundation work, but Tesla is reportedly proceeding at its own risk until the entire project is approved.
Recent drone videos of the site show that Tesla has put in place the foundations for at least two big buildings at the site:
While local media emphasize that Tesla is proceeding without full approval, I think it is mainly a formality at this point.
Tesla seems to have strong support from local officials and I would believe that if a problem arises, they would work with them to sort it out.
I doubt Tesla would be making this kind of investment and work without some kind of assurance that the local officials will play ball.
Grünheide, the municipality where Tesla is building the factory, recently changed the name of the street of the factory’s site to ‘Tesla’.
Model Y reservation holders in Europe are likely the most interested in this project since the construction timeline is linked to the timeline to get their electric SUVs, but Tesla investors are also really interested.
Once the factory is online, Tesla will have factories on three different continents producing cars for local markets.
This will massively strengthen the company going forward.
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