Recent reports have emerged suggesting that Tesla may complete its purchase contract for the site of Gigafactory 4, which is located near Berlin in Germany, before the end of 2019. A special meeting of the Finance Committee about the facility’s permit could be held as early as the week before Christmas, at around the 17th of 18th of December. The recent recent update was related by Brandenburg’s Finance Minister Katrin Lange (SPD) during a meeting on Thursday.
Elon Musk aims to start producing the Tesla Model Y crossover at the Germany-based site as early as 2021. This is an ambitious target, and one that would be challenging considering that the electric car maker would still need to wait for a lengthy test procedure from the country’s authorities before the upcoming facility could be built.
That being said, the district of Oder-Spree, where Gigafactory 4 will be located, wants the project to move quickly. This was related by Landrat Rolf Lindemann in a previous statement to the German Press Agency. “We stand rifle by foot. When the first planning documents arrive tomorrow, we start immediately,” Lindemann said.
Lindemann explained that the district will proceed with care when adhering to Gigafactory 4’s legal framework. The District Administrator further noted that he is optimistic about Tesla’s factory, considering that the area had already been planned for a BMW facility back in 2001. “This is already the development plan for this type of industrial use,” he said.
It should be noted that the area Tesla is aiming to acquire for Gigafactory 4 requires approval from conservation groups. In comments to the German Press Agency, National Chairman of the Brandenburg Nature Conservation Union Friedhelm Schmitz-Jersch stated that the development plans for the site that were granted for BMW’s potential facility would need to be re-examined, particularly as the flora and fauna in the area may have changed since 2001. “One must now grasp which species worth protecting are there. Is what was then still valid today?” he said.
Tesla, for its part, has stated that it intends to plant three times as many trees that it would uproot for Gigafactory 4’s construction.
Tesla’s Gigafactory 4 came as a surprise announcement from CEO Elon Musk during a recent visit to Germany. Musk was in the country to accept the Golden Steering Wheel Award for the Model 3, and while speaking with the host of the ceremony, the Tesla CEO dropped the news that Gigafactory 4 will be constructed in the country. An engineering and design center will also be constructed in Berlin.
“Everyone knows that German engineering is outstanding, for sure. That’s part of the reason why we are locating our Gigafactory Europe in Germany. We are also going to create an engineering and design center in Berlin, because Berlin has some of the best art in the world,” Musk said.