Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, held a wild party at the Berlin gigafactory's new gigafactory, complete with bright lights and techno music to announce that production will begin at the site, which has been the subject of environmental lawsuits.
Musk said that they were aiming to begin production within a few months, basically November or December and deliver our first cars by December. This was to the cheers of thousands. The hard part is actually starting production. Reaching volume production is the hard part.
Musk stated that volume production is 5,000 to 10,000 vehicles per week. It is expected that the factory will produce Model Y cars and millions of batteries. Tesla proposed to invest $5.8 billion to build a battery plant that can produce 50 GWh of electricity on the 300-hectare site. Musk also promised to increase the production of battery cells to the desired level by the end of this year. The planned Volkswagen factory in Salzgitter will produce 40 GWh.
The construction of the Tesla gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg was completed almost two years ago, although local opposition is holding back final approval due to environmental concerns. Musk's extravagant event seems to be Musk's attempt to win over the locals. It is almost a cartoonish move that reminds me of Stranger Things Mayor Kline throwing an Independence Day celebration to win votes and distract attention from the Russians to whom he had leased land in order to open another portal. Party at #GigaBerlin pic.twitter.com/ZvqARpueOp Tobias Lindh (@tobilindh) October 9, 2021
The Green League, a Finnish political party, and the Brandenburg Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union, filed suit in June to stop the testing of machinery at the factory's paint shop, foundry, and press shop. They were concerned about chemical leakage and other environmental damage. The site was temporarily closed last year after NGOs sought an injunction to preserve the natural habitats of endangered lizards. Bloomberg reports that more than 800 local residents filed complaints. The process is currently being reviewed via an online residents consultation, which will close on October 14. Only then can environmental authorities make the final decision about approval. According to Brandenburgs economy minister, Tesla still has 95% chance of obtaining factory approval despite opposition. Many political parties in Germany support the Tesla factory. They see it as an economic boost for eastern Germany.
Musk defends the factory from critics who claim it uses very little water and is sustainable.