Tesla has submitted an updated application for environmental approval with the government regarding its Berlin Gigafactory project, and it shows several major changes to its plan.

As we reported earlier this week, we reported on Tesla wants to move ahead with construction at Gigafactory Berlin without final approval for the project.

Now they have submitted a new version of their plan for environmental approval with the local government.

According to local media reports, here are the main changes in the new plan for Tesla Gigafactory Berlin:

  • Tesla wants to cut 30% more trees — 193.27 acres instead of the current 154.54 acres of forest around the 300-acre site
  • Battery production plans have been removed from the application
  • Drive unit production has been moved to a new building
  • Tesla has reduced planned peak water need by 33%
  • Disposal system and wastewater treatment have been moved next to the main building
  • Removed mention of 500,000 vehicles per year — now only referencing “100,000 or more”

The new deforested acreage is reportedly to build a new test track on site.

Under the plan, Tesla is expected to continue construction work until March 2021 in order to start Model Y production at the plant by July 2021.

However, the final approval is still going to take months since the local government is taking public comments on the project until September.

But Tesla is already moving forward with construction.

New drone videos show that Tesla has raised the first pillars for the first building yesterday:

Electrek’s Take

While those changes appear major, I believe that it’s only for the first phase of construction.

Tesla is likely simplifying the first phase in order to more easily obtained approval — though they are already moving forward with the construction.

As you can see, the first phase is only a small part of the overall plan for the site:

I believe that a few years from now, Tesla Gigafactory Berlin will be producing several hundred thousand vehicles per year, and it will have onsite battery cell production.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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