Tesla Gigafactory 4 awaits last hurdles before ground clearing activities begin

Credit: YouTube/J.-U. Koehler

Tesla is getting closer and closer to laying the first brick of its Gigafactory 4 in Brandenburg, with the town’s Minister of Economics Jorg Steinbach expressing that he is certain the deal between the electric car manufacturer and German authorities is 95% secure.

With a contract on the table for the sale of Gigafactory 4’s location, the next crucial steps will be getting the approval of the Brandenburg state parliament’s budget committee. The parties need the approval of the sale from the said committee since the 741-acre land is a state property.  The discussion with the budget committee is initially set on January 9, based on a report by German publication RBB.

“(GF4’s contract signing) will happen in the next week, at the latest in the New Year’s week,” the minister said. When asked how certain he was of this statement, Steinbach said “95%.”

The State Office for the Environment is also reviewing the application of Tesla to ensure that the electric car manufacturer will be compliant to the Federal Emission Control Act, which aims to protect people, animals, plants, soil and water that will be affected during the build. Upon approval, there will be a public hearing to determine the sentiments of the residents and other parties that might possibly be affected by the construction of Gigafactory 4.

The agreement on the sale of the land for Gigafactory 4 in the municipality of Grunheide was reached on Friday, which meant that Tesla and local authorities can review the details of the contract. According to State Spokesman Mark Weber, It is unlikely that the parliament will approve the contract during the Christmas week since the lawmakers are on break starting Monday, reconvening by January 9.

A regional steering committee with participants from Grünheide and other nearby municipalities such as Schöneiche, Storkow, Fürstenwalde, and Erkner are also working together to come up with recommendations that will be submitted to the state government handling the Tesla deal.

The recent developments are small victories for Tesla as it plans to start the construction of Gigafactory 4 during the first half of 2020 and eventually start rolling out its all-electric Model Y crossover from its production line by 2021. The Gigafactory facility is expected give jobs to around 4,000 people working in three shifts.

Recently, land surveys on the planned Tesla Gigafactory site were also started. Aside from removing trees, the surveying teams are tasked to scan for possible World War II-era weapons in the area.

Earlier reports also suggested that the Gigafactory 4 will have its on-site train station based on leaked initial plans and will also have facilities for battery cell production.

Based on the water consumption estimates of Gigafactory 4, the facility will have the capacity to produce 250,000 vehicles annually and ramp up to 500,000 units per year. The numbers also suggest that Gigafactory 4 can eventually roll out 750,000 units per year, which is far more than what the Fremont factory is capable of at the moment.

Tesla Gigafactory 4 awaits last hurdles before ground clearing activities begin
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