Tesla Giga Berlin battery factory expansion gets support from German Chancellor

Image Credit: Tesla Europe/Twitter

Tesla’s expansion of its battery plant in Gigafactory Berlin has received support from German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD). At a public dialogue in Potsdam on Monday, the official noted that allowing Tesla to expand its battery facility would help retain investments like Giga Berlin in Germany. 

“I honestly do,” the official noted. “It is also about retaining such companies in Germany and maintaining and expanding prosperity.”

Last month, reports emerged stating that Tesla had requested approval from local German authorities for the expansion of the Gigafactory Berlin complex. Application documents posted by the regional environment ministry and water authority hinted at a variety of upgrades to the site, such as the construction of battery cell testing lab, the expansion of water recycling systems, and modifications to the press and paint shop. 

Such upgrades were expected to help Giga Berlin double its production capacity to 1 million cars per year. It is also expected to help the site achieve 100 GWh of battery production. Later reports pointed to the facility growing to 22,500 employees as well, more than double its existing 11,000 workers. But while the upgrades to Giga Berlin are undoubtedly exciting, expectations were also high among Tesla watchers that the initiative would attract the ire of local groups that have consistently been against the facility from its earliest days. 

As noted in a report from German publication WELT, Tesla’s expansion plans have indeed attracted criticism, partly because the battery facility expansion is in a water protection zone. The State Office for the Environment reportedly spoke of notable obstacles for the approval of Giga Berlin’s battery factory expansion, and the regional water association suggested the upgrades would have significant consequences to the groundwater in the area. 

It should be noted that earlier this year, Tesla noted that it intends to ramp Giga Berlin’s vehicle production to 1 million cars per year without an increase in the facility’s water consumption. This suggests that Tesla intends to use the same amount of water that it does to produce 500,000 vehicles to make 1 million. Such a feat is expected to be feasible thanks to the complete treatment and reuse of wastewater that’s generated during the vehicle production process. 

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Tesla Giga Berlin battery factory expansion gets support from German Chancellor
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