As Tesla awaits the green light to begin ground clearing on the Gigafactory 4 site in Grünheide in the Oder-Spree district, Economics Minister of Brandenburg Jorg Steinbach expressed his excitement about the positive impact that the upcoming electric vehicle facility will bring to the region.
“I am optimistic that young people from all over Germany and far beyond want to take part in this project,” Steinbach said in an interview with German publication Der Tagesspiegel. The minister added that it will be a win-win situation, with Tesla selling electric cars in the region and the community getting future-proof jobs that offer excellent working conditions and good wages.
The Gigafactory in Eastern Germany will rise on a 741-acre property and is projected to produce 250,000 vehicles per year during its initial phase and will eventually ramp up to 500,000 units and then 750,000 annually. The facility is expected to initially generate jobs for 4,000 people working in three shifts.
Aside from the all-out support of the government, locals also welcomed recent developments.
“It’s magnificent; it’s like Christmas coming early for our region. The region is not particularly known for its strong industry, so getting a Gigafactory will push future-oriented technologies such as battery production and autonomous driving,” said Carsten Bronstrup of Unternehmensverbände Berlin-Brandenburg (UVB), an association of companies in Berlin and Brandenburg.
Bonstrup emphasized how Tesla can help generate thousands of jobs if the plan materializes. The UVB representative also described how competition can help local car manufacturers explore new technological advances to help stand their ground.
Last week, the Economics Minister said that the deal between the electric carmaker and the German government is 95% secure and he expects the signing of the Gigafactory 4 contract to happen during the next few weeks. Tesla is still awaiting the approval of the Brandenburg state parliament’s budget committee. There’s also a pending review from the State Office for the Environment that will give the green light if Tesla is in accordance with the region’s Federal Emission Control Act.
With Teslas landing on the backyard of automotive giants such as BMW and Volkswagen, the local car manufacturers will definitely feel the pressure. As the U.S. electric car manufacturer proved in its Gigafactory 3 in China, it can turn barren land into an efficient production line in roughly 10 months. If all legal and environmental requirements will be ironed out soon, we may very well see the same thing happen in Germany. And if that will be the case, Tesla might just improve its share of the EV market in Europe.