The Gigafactorynovela is over. The authorities of Brandenburg, the German Land around Berlin, have issued the necessary authorizations to start production at Tesla’s first European plant, which will have a capacity of half a million cars a year when fully operational. In theory, in Grünheide, about thirty kilometers south-east of the capital, the actual operational activity could begin within a couple of weeks, although before that the builder will still have to provide a series of documents, including those relating to the use of water, installation of devices for measuring emissions and fire prevention systems.
Production of the Model Y SUV, currently manufactured in Shanghai also for Europe, is planned. Elon Musk, the number one of the American house, has thus transferred the automobile competition to Germany, the nation of premium manufacturers now forced to chase Tesla on electrification.
The official inauguration could take place within a couple of weeks (perhaps on the 22nd or 23rd, according to local media) in the presence of Musk himself, who never wanted to confirm the size of the investment, estimated at 5 billion euros. .
The go-ahead from the authorities is accompanied by a 536-page document relating to the 3 square kilometers on which the car assembly lines are built and also, among others, the plants for the construction of the cells and the assembly of the batteries (up to 50 GWh of annual capacity).
The settlement of Tesla is important for the economic system and the occupation of the region, one of those of the former GDR and it is no coincidence that the authorities have spoken of “an unusual procedure in several respects”. Timing aside – Musk’s announcement came in 2019 and construction began in early 2020 without a definitive license, but based on 19 preliminary authorizations – Brandenburg has effectively approved not only the construction of a factory, but of an industrial district. Between appraisals, permits and various documents, the entire dossier is almost 24,000 pages and occupies 66 binders. Any further objections may be raised for a further month.
Tesla, from a German court the stop to the first European Gigafactory
Tesla and Musk have had to deal with disputes several times (especially from environmentalists and residents, particularly due to water consumption), deferred authorizations, difficulties in finding staff (the estimate is between 8,000 and 12,000 jobs, of which 2,500 already hired), trade union opposition and even with the suspension of the water supply to the construction site by the supplier company, the Wasserverband Strausberg-Erkner, which had complained about the non-payment of a 15,000 euro bill.
The American manufacturer, which in February delivered almost 6,000 machines in Germany with a 3% market share and over 20% of the pure electric one, had planned to start production for the summer of 2021. Musk does not he had foreseen the time of the bureaucracy and the German procedures (which he had also contested), but less than two years still remains a short period of time for the construction of such a complex plant. Dietmar Woidke, the governor of Brandenburg, did not hide the fact that he often spoke during the night (due to the time difference) with Musk about the administrative process.