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Germany: Tesla to Stick to Schedule at ‘Gigafactory’ in Brandenburg Province

Tesla still seems to intend to start manufacturing vehicles at its factory at the Freienbrink business park in July, which is four months away. Is this even possible? Some important permits are still pending.

According to the official schedule Tesla announced months ago, the Californian company was going to start manufacturing the ‘Berlin Model Y’ in July of this year at a factory that is still a giant construction site. This has not changed, according to several German-language media. Citing unnamed sources within the automotive sector, they report the time plan was still valid, in spite of the Corona pandemic and the fact that the German authorities have not issued required permits.

Asian Approach

Indeed Tesla has worked on its German endeavor with a kind of speed Germany is not used to. Tesla’s boss Elon Musk took the Asian approach, while permits take a lot longer to get in the Federal Republic of Germany, the industrial nation he chose in Central Europe. A hearing about complaints residents had about the construction project, which took place in the fall of 2020, threw Tesla’s plans back substantially. But, in the end, this aspect is not supposed to change anything.

There is another issue: Brandenburg has not handed over the final environmental permit Tesla needs to really get going. A decision is supposed to be taken towards the end of March or in early April, three months ahead of the ‘Gigafactory’s intended start of production. So far, Tesla has been taking risks, since its German project started.

‘Premature Permits’

In some cases, the Americans had to promise they would renaturalize their premises in case they were denied the necessary permits. On the other hand, Musk and his people always knew the governments of Germany, Berlin and Brandenburg are very keen on having the Tesla factory in Freienbrink. The Brandenburgers even set up a government taskforce with one clear mission, namely helping Tesla to get through the jungle of rules, and to speed things up.

By now, the company is constructing its ‘Gigafactory’ on the basis of ‘premature permits’. Tesla needs one of those for every step it takes at the rather large construction site. The latest ‘premature permit’ was about machines they wanted to install. Yes, this is how far they have come on their main factory project. Another permit for flattening another piece of land on the former tree plantation they are construction their factory on is still pending.

While environmental organizations fear the factory could do a lot of damage to the ground water and hurt reptiles, Tesla wants to enlarge its factory before it is even completed. Elon Musk is not wasting any time. Now he insists on constructing a giant battery factory as well.

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