The Californian manufacturer announces today delivering the first Teslas produced at the Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg. The manufacturer’s fifth factory, whose construction began in the spring of 2020, has finally been authorized to start production of electric cars.
A certain relief for the boss Elon Musk. Indeed, the construction of Europe’s largest electric vehicle factory was beginning to look like a soap opera.
At Tesla we don’t talk about factory, or factory in English, but about Gigafactory. It must be said that this factory, erected not far from Berlin in Germany, covers more than 300 hectares, for a total surface area inside the factory of 227,000 m2.
With a potential production capacity of 500,000 Model Ys and up to 50 GWh of battery power per year, it is the largest electric car factory in Europe in terms of volume. An economic boon for any region with the promise of 12,000 jobs when the factory, sorry the Gigafactory, reaches its cruising speed.
A long standoff
However, the least that can be said is that the arrival of this giant factory was not to everyone’s taste in Germany. Since the beginning of the project, Elon Musk has indeed faced strong opposition from environmentalists, the German bureaucracy, or even the Ministry of the Environment of the Brandenburg region.
From the first blows of the pickaxe, ecological associations howled against deforestation and the significant environmental impact of such a factory.
Tesla, supported by the region which relies heavily on the jobs created, had been able to benefit from a procedure allowing it to start work before having the building permit. Faced with the various actions, some feared that Tesla would ultimately have to destroy this huge cathedral for lack of agreement.
It’s all arranged
Finally, after many twists and announcements, the Ministry of the Environment for the Brandenburg region declared on Friday March 4 that it had issued the authorization for the Tesla factory. A final permit that allowed Tesla to finally press the production button.
A highly integrated factory bringing together the production of complete vehicles, electric motors, battery cells, plastics, seats and much more. The first thirty vehicles delivered to their new owners are also the first Model Y Performance delivered on European soil.
Accelerating the energy transition
The manufacturer insists on the sustainable approach of this plant. The existing industrial pine plantation has been replaced by more robust and ecologically virtuous wooded areas.
With its experience of industrial sites in Reno and Shanghai, the environmental impact of production will be further reduced. For example, energy consumption per cell produced will be reduced by 70%, water consumption per vehicle will be lower than the industry average, while the plant will use less solvents in the paint shop. . But for Tesla, the issue is not only ecological.
A major challenge
By producing half a million Tesla each year in the heart of Europe, the American manufacturer wants to establish itself permanently on the old continent. No more cars available at the rate of boats from China or the United States.
Tesla will be able to go on the offensive. First effect of this new establishment, the delivery to thirty customers of Model Y Performance. An SUV offering a range of 514 KM WLTP, capable of reaching 250 km/h and achieving 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds.
This Y Performance model is now available from €66,990. This is a machine from Germany which should not help local manufacturers.