Tesla’s property in Brandenburg, Germany, where its Giga Berlin production facility will eventually stand, has received its first pile driver on-site, hinting that a groundbreaking ceremony for the facility may be close.
Tesla officially completed ground leveling and excavation work in April. The land has been under intense preparation since the first few days of January 2020, and crews are officially working their way toward building the plant that will initially produce Model Y crossovers for the European market.
Footage of the pile driver on the Giga Berlin complex was uploaded by YouTube channel Giga Berlin, who also runs the @gigafactory_4 Twitter account. The drone footage that was shared with Tesla enthusiasts shows a single pile driver operating in the massive site.
The first pile driver at #GigaBerlin deserves a 360 drone view. Thats how it looks like:
HQ long duration video at YouTube:https://t.co/L3B8rTbt1v
The first piles were driven into the ground yesterday. Also visible in the long duration video. pic.twitter.com/eeEm5H4DqP
— Giga Berlin / Gigafactory 4 (@gigafactory_4) May 14, 2020
Pile drivers are used to provide foundational support for buildings or structures. When Tesla’s Giga Shanghai facility was under its initial phases of construction, several pile driver machines were seen within the confines of the property. The devices were recently present on Tesla’s China factory as well, with the ongoing buildout of Giga Shanghai’s Phase 2.
@Gigafactory_4 speculates that the single pile driver in the Gigafactory Berlin complex may be testing the ground quality or the effect that construction could have on the area’s groundwater. This allows Tesla to come up with the best strategy possible that would allow Giga Berlin to be completed as quickly and as safely as possible.
I think its for testing the ground and the impact on groundwater..
— @GF4Tesla..🏗️🏗️.build #GigaBerlin. (@Gf4Tesla) May 14, 2020
While land preparation and construction has continued in Brandenburg, the pandemic has halted other developments that are associated with Tesla’s European project. Typically before a project of this magnitude begins, residents are allowed to voice their concerns or reservations about the presence of a company in their area. However, social distancing guidelines have prevented such a public meeting from taking place.
Eventually, officials made it clear that they would handle the issues that the pandemic had caused, and the public forum would be held at a later date. The member of the German government who has been one of the most supportive of Tesla’s project is Brandenburg Economic Minister Jörg Steinbach, who recently stated he would prolong exemptions for Tesla so the electric automaker’s construction phases could stay on schedule.
Tesla plans to begin producing its electric Model Y first at Giga Berlin, which will is speculated to begin in July 2021. The facility will employ around 12,000 people and will create an estimated 500,000 vehicles every year.