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The American billionaire has announced an alcoholic beverage, the name of which is inspired by the “gigafactory” he inaugurated on Saturday near Berlin.

Elon Musk hopes to produce his first Tesla in Germany before the end of 2021, while the plant he presented on Saturday has yet to receive its building permit.

Reuters

Operation seduction near Berlin: the American manufacturer Tesla on Saturday inaugurated its future “gigafactory”, the first in Europe, hoping to deliver its first electric cars in December. Thousands of people were welcomed for a festive ceremony, while the company has still not received a building permit and some residents oppose the project.

Advertised beer

“We are ready to start production within a few months, in November or December, to hopefully deliver our first cars in December,” said Elon Musk. In presenting the living environment for the employees of the site, which will host a train station, the boss of Tesla said “we will even have a beer”, in front of a visual of the product “Gigabier”, reported the site Teslarati. Last November, Tesla launched its brand of tequila, sold for $ 250 a bottle, whose stocks quickly ran out, then reported CNN.

Seduce the population

But the goal of this “open house” day for the manufacturer was to show its white paws to the inhabitants, after several months of controversy. Tesla has indeed benefited from an exceptional and controversial prior authorization procedure, which allowed it to start work in 2019, before having a building permit. No final authorization has since been issued by the local authorities, who are still assessing the impact of the plant on the environment. However, the work is almost finished. This exceptional regime has aroused the anger of some residents, worried about the region’s water resources and biodiversity.

Opponents of the project

“Stop Tesla”, “water and the forest are not for private profit”: some of them had gathered Saturday morning at a hundred meters from the factory to express their rejection of the project. “No date has yet been set” to issue this authorization, assured AFP the Ministry of the Environment of Brandenburg, the region where the plant is located. The plant, announced with great fanfare in November 2019, will cover 300 hectares, producing 500,000 electric vehicles per year. Elon Musk also plans to build “the world’s largest battery factory there.”

The group will have to dismantle the plant at its own expense if no building permit is issued. An outcome deemed “improbable” according to an expert, because of “political support” for the project: “All political parties are in favor.” But “edifice modifications” could be requested, delaying the opening. This was initially scheduled for July.

Germany will welcome in 2024 a lithium refining plant, an essential element of batteries, built by the Canadian group Rock Tech Lithium which will invest 470 million euros (nearly 510 million francs), allowing the country to consolidate the transition of its powerful automotive sector. It would be the “first in Europe” and will provide enough refined lithium to build “500,000 automobiles per year,” the company said. Lithium, an essential element in the manufacture of electric batteries for cars, must be refined for subsequent use in an industrial process. The first European battery and automobile factory of the American giant Tesla will be located 80 km away.

(afp / reg)

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