Elon Musk confirmed that he will be visiting Tesla Gigafactory Berlin in “mid-February” – hinting at the potential start of production, which is still awaiting government approval.

Over the last year, Tesla has run into a lot of red tape while trying to get approval to start production at Gigafactory Berlin, a giant new factory located near Berlin in Brandenburg.

The bottleneck right now is the environmental approval from the Brandenburg State Environment Ministry.

Most recently, environmental groups had managed to obtain an extension of the public commentary period for the project, which delayed approval for another month. The new period concluded last November, and Tesla has been rumored to be on the verge of approval, but it has yet to happen.

While waiting for the approval, Tesla was authorized to produce 250 Model Y bodies for testing purposes. Some Model Y vehicles were spotted leaving the plant last month.

Earlier this month, Tesla received another approval to produce 2,000 Model Y bodies at Gigafactory Berlin.

The government has also confirmed that it received all the necessary documents to make a decision as of the last week of December.

Therefore, the approval for the start of production has been expected to be imminent.

Over the last week, several publications erroneously reported that Tesla CEO Elon Musk would be visiting Berlin this week based on a single source on Twitter.

The CEO corrected the information and instead confirmed that he will be visiting the factory in “mid-February,” which could coincide with the timing of the start of production since the automaker would be expected to have completed its 2,000-vehicle trial run by then.

With the first batch of completed Model Y vehicles spotted at Gigafactory Texas this week, it looks like the Austin factory might have beaten Gigafactory Berlin to a start of production – though nothing has been confirmed by Tesla yet.

However, as we like to point out, the start of production at either of those new factories is not the most important milestone.

The smoothness of the production ramps is the most important by far.

We will be keeping an eye on that in the coming months.

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