Elon Musk seemed to be in high spirits during his recent visit to Gigafactory Berlin, which is currently conducting the initial tests of its Model Y production equipment. During his visit, Musk candidly remarked that he is hoping for Giga Berlin’s final approval to be granted sometime in October this year. He also poked some fun at hydrogen cars.
Musk’s visit to Giga Berlin included a meeting with German chancellor candidate Armin Laschet, who drew some facepalms among electric vehicle advocates after he asked the Tesla CEO if the future of cars would be electric or hydrogen. The question seemed a bit silly considering Musk’s previous statements about hydrogen cars, and the CEO did not disappoint in his response. Musk stated that the future of cars is “definitely electric” because hydrogen is a “waste of time” before laughing out loud for several seconds.
Later videos of Musk and Laschet inside Gigafactory Berlin involved the CEO being asked about his opinion of the chancellor candidate. Musk was polite, noting that Laschet seems like a “great guy,” though he noted that it would ultimately be “up for the German people to judge” whether the politician wins the esteemed chancellor position or not. When asked when he expects Giga Berlin’s final approval to be released, Musk was pretty open.
“I don’t know; we’re hoping to get the final approval in October. Or “Oktoberfest.” An “Oktoberfest” approval,” Musk said before heading into the factory.
Interestingly enough, the majority of Oktoberfest typically happens in late September to early October. Musk may then be hinting at Giga Berlin securing its final approval in early October, which should give the facility most of the fourth quarter to ramp its Model Y production. Expectations should be tempered for Giga Berlin, however, as the factory, similar to Giga Shanghai, would likely be spending its first months calibrating its equipment and refining its manufacturing process. This is especially important for Giga Berlin since the Model Y that would be built on the site would be quite different compared to its American-made counterparts.
Gigafactory Berlin may already be delayed, but opposition surrounding the factory’s construction seems to be settling down as of late. Together with the recent failures of the Brandenburg Nature Protection Association (NABU) and the Green League in the Higher Administrative Court Berlin-Brandenburg (OVG), Giga Berlin’s plans have also received far fewer objections from the public. Compared to the 373 that were received after Tesla posted Giga Berlin’s first plans last year, the latest iteration of the facility’s plans received only 44 objections to date.
Elon Musk has announced that Tesla would be holding a Giga Berlin “county fair and factory tour” on October 9, 2021.
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