It has been already shown that the commitment to bring a Gigafactory to Europe has been successful; a good idea right from the beginning. Tesla currently has one of its greatest assets in the Berlin plant as of today, but above all it is clearly pointing at the future: the German factory is progressing very positively now, although its beginnings have not been easy at all. Despite this facts Tesla has big plans for it, and although it has just recently been updated, Tesla now wants to significantly expand its activity in order to double production volumes. The only drawback is that the final decision does not depend exclusively on the company.
Looking back in time we can remember that the construction of the Berlin Gigafactory, more specifically located in the town of Grünheide, was plagued with setbacks and delays. Various environmental and citizen associations strongly opposed the opening, due to the possible environmental problems it could cause (which were finally correctly addressed and dealt with), in addition to the considerable felling of trees that accompanied the construction. After months of negotiations, agreements, and regulatory changes, Tesla finally opened the plant in March this year, 2022.
Elon Musk himself was in charge of giving the green light to a huge manufacturing facility that as of today has already picked up cruising speed. So much so that the Berlin plant has the privilege of saying that it is the only Gigafactory capable of having exclusive paints for the Tesla Model Y the only model that is currently manufactured within its walls. More models will arrive in the future, but in order to achieve this, it is necessary to expand the work area, which means occupying another 170 acres of land to the north of the current location; which in turn - once again- leads to possible controversies with the community.
As we reported in articles before, at the end of last summer Tesla already updated the assembly lines – successfully - to reduce production time and thus increase manufacturing volume. Current available data shows that about 2,000 cars a week come out of the production lines, although that figure is actually expected to grow to 5,000 units per week during the first quarter of next year, 2023. The total capacity of the Gigafactory Berlin is 500,000 cars a year, and it is intended to exceed one million units with this immediate expansion.
The budget plans are already underway, as reflected in the accounts of the Oder-Spree district in Germany. The process is expected to be once again slow and tedious, exactly as it was a few years ago. Even though this possible expansion was already contemplated in the original plans, Tesla has to request this new project all over again, so - once again - it has to go through the corresponding periods of study and public consultation in order to get the required permissions. Local citizen participation will decide if the extension is finally carried out, as reported by local Brandeburg media. The Austin, Texas company wants to start now with the application processes in order to be able to move forward in the fastest possible way.
All images courtesy of Tesla Inc.
Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.