Tesla will begin production of the newly launched Model Y in Europe in December. The Tesla boss Elon Musk (50) announced this weekend at a community festival in the nearly completed new plant in Grünheide (D). Around 9,000 residents were able to take a look at Tesla’s first plant outside the USA, which is already in test operation.
The US electrical pioneer is investing a mid-single-digit billion amount for its first European location. In the final stage, around 12,000 employees will build 500,000 electric cars per year, including the required batteries. Tesla also relies on local suppliers – a gigantic business development program for the German state of Brandenburg. With the new plant, Tesla finally wants to enable continuous deliveries in Europe – until now it was heavily dependent on the available transport capacities.
Approval is still missing
But: the construction has still not been approved. It started two years ago with provisional permits – but a final environmental permit for construction and operation is still pending. Environmentalists had repeatedly criticized the massive interference with nature and the water consumption in production. However, Tesla estimates only 2.2 cubic meters of water per car – less than the industry average of three, according to Tesla boss Elon Musk, according to the journal “Automobilwoche”. In addition, as compensation for the deforestation of 90 hectares of forest, Tesla will replant around 300 hectares and produce it with renewable electricity.
The goal is a “beautiful factory in harmony with its surroundings”, says Musk. For the start he expects few problems; the challenge is then to expand production to up to 10,000 vehicles per week. But that should be done by the end of 2022.
Tesla is set to become number 1
And what’s next with Tesla? Musk doesn’t want to be less than the biggest: The goal is to replace one percent of the currently two billion vehicles – cars and trucks – with an electric Tesla every year. Power: 20 million cars a year. For comparison: The industry’s biggest Toyota and VW produced so many cars together last year. Tesla is aiming to produce one million vehicles for the first time in 2021.
First, however, the environmental approval of the Grünheide plant has to work. It is questionable whether the authorities will deny this to a finished work. Especially since the Tesla settlement will wash massive amounts of money into the structurally weak region.