Tesla’s Board of Directors have approved the contract to purchase the 300-hectare parcel of land for Gigafactory 4 in Grunheide, bringing the electric carmaker a step closer to begin the construction of its European factory in Brandenburg.
The board approval follows a January 9 decision made by the Financial Committee of Brandenburg who approved the sales contract for the site where the Gigafactory 4 will be built. Tesla sealed the deal to buy the area covered by an expansive forest for 40.91 million euros or about $45 million.
The preliminary price of the property can still be amended if an external review comes up with a different value and finds that adjustments are needed, Reuters reported. The initial pricing puts the price at just 13.50 euros per square meter or about a third of nearby properties. However, one should take note that the land for the Tesla Gigafactory 4 site is not as developed as the Freinebrink Business Park that already has electricity, roadways, and other provisions. The California-based car manufacturer will need to build roads and set up necessary utilities such as electricity and water system to operate the facility.
Over the weekend, there were protesters in Grunheide expressing their worries about the effects of Tesla’s factory on the environment. This was met with an opposing group of Tesla supporters who chanted, “We are here! We are loud because Tesla is building the future for us!” Below is a clip shared by @Gf4Tesla via Twitter:
Tesla supporters such as 46-year-old local Anke Kranhold welcomes the opportunities Tesla brings to Grunheide.
“I myself have sons and two daughters-in-law who are engineers, maybe in the future they will have the chance to cycle to work instead of commuting to Berlin,” Kranhold said.
Tesla started building access roads in the Grunheide property and are also scanning the area for undetonated World War II-era bombs. The electric carmaker is also working with authorities to move an endangered species of bats that are currently hibernating, as well as other animals in the forest.
Tesla plans to clear a portion of the forest by the end of February in order to stick to its timeline and begin construction by mid-March. The factory plans to start production by July 2021 with the aim to produce 150,000 vehicles initially and later on ramp-up to build 500,000 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles per year. The first Tesla car factory in Europe may generate 8,000 jobs for locals and nearby countries.
Aside from creating jobs, Brandenburg’s Economic Minister Jörg Steinbach believes Tesla will have a “magnetic effect” in Grunheide and help bring more businesses to the state and because of this, the authorities promised that the company has its support and will consider building another freeway connection, feeder roads, and expand rail capacity to avoid traffic bottlenecks in the area.