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Tesla Employees Confirm Work On Giga Berlin Battery Plant Is Continuing Despite WSJ Reporting

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Tesla has decided to put on hold plans to produce 4680 cells in Giga Berlin. However, today, we have received conflicting information from individuals on the ground citing senior Tesla staff, that suggests work on the Giga Berlin battery plant is progressing according to plan.


In addition to a state-of-the-art car factory, Tesla is also building the world’s biggest battery factory in Grunheide Germany. This battery factory, just in its initial phase, is expected to produce 100GWh of battery cells per year.

This number is enough to support a million vehicles per year. However, in the long run, according to Elon Musk, this number could rise to 250 to 300 GWh suggesting long-term production of 2.5 to 3 million vehicles per year just from Giga Berlin.

Not only is Tesla’s Berlin battery factory impressive due to its sheer scale, but the battery plant will also be producing Tesla’s newest and industry-leading 4680 cells.

Tesla first announced the next generation 4680 batteries at the company’s Battery Day event held in September 2020.

At the event, Tesla laid out several breakthroughs included in the 4680 cells when added together which amount to a 54% increase in vehicle range, a 56% reduction in cost per kilowatt-hour, and a 69% reduction in capital expenditure.

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Currently, Tesla is producing the 4680 cells from its experimental facility in Keto Road, California, and at its newest Austin Texas Gigafactory. The new cells have also started shipping inside the refreshed Model Y produced at Giga Texas.

According to Tesla, the 4680 cells hold a lot of promise; however, the EV maker has been facing difficulties ramping up production of the new batteries.

According to insider leaks, Tesla’s Keto Road facility after a year of production has only managed to produce enough cells to power a little more than 1000 vehicles. This is in stark contrast to the facility's theoretical annual capacity of 10GWh or enough for around 100,000 vehicles.

At Giga Texas, 4680 cell production is off to a slow start and until Tesla can ramp battery production to a high enough scale, the Austin plant has been forced to produce Model Y’s with the last generation 2170 cells as a stop-gap.

And at Giga Berlin, the battery plant was supposed to begin pumping out 4680 cells last year, however, after several delays caused by bureaucratic red tape in the environmental assessment process, the plant only began construction this May.

Nonetheless, currently, the construction of the Giga Berlin cell factory is progressing nicely and, according to recent drone flyovers, the plant is almost done except for some finishing touches.

Although behind schedule, the progress so far at Tesla’s battery plant in Giga Berlin can be considered good; however, yesterday, we got yet another bad news suggesting Tesla has put its plans to make batteries at Giga Berlin on hold.

The news comes via The Wall Street Journal, which wrote, citing people familiar with the matter, that Tesla had decided to pause its plans to produce batteries at Giga Berlin. The Journal noted that Tesla has made this decision in order to focus on battery production efforts in the United States instead.

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Given the critical importance of the Giga Berlin battery plant and the amount of investment that has already gone into building the factory, the Journal’s reporting was confusing, disappointing, and somewhat hard to believe.

And lucky for us today, we have received insider information that suggests the Journal’s reporting might not be entirely accurate. The conflicting narrative comes from a Twitter page (Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg) which has been closely following and documenting Giga Berlin’s progress on the ground.

In response to the Journal’s article, Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg writes “work outside and inside the CellBuilding is progressing according to plan, conversations with senior staff last Sunday at the Tesla Citizens' Meeting confirmed this.”

Tobias Lindh, who is also closely following Giga Berlin’s progress on the ground, corroborated that work on Giga Berlin’s battery plant is ongoing, writing “what we heard is that the equipment is in Giga Berlin already.”

This is great news but, as of now, it is still too early to say with any certainty that the Journal’s reporting is completely wrong. However, we will be sure to keep you posted once we learn more about Tesla’s plans.

Until then, make sure to visit our site regularly for the latest updates.

So what do you think? Are you inclined to believe The Wall Street Journal’s reporting that Tesla has decided to put on hold battery production at Giga Berlin? Or do you side with the two individuals on the ground who are reporting work is going according to plan? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Image: Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

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Tinsae Aregay has been following Tesla and The evolution of the EV space on a daily basis for several years. He covers everything about Tesla from the cars to Elon Musk, the energy business, and autonomy. Follow Tinsae on Twitter at @TinsaeAregay for daily Tesla news.