Tesla’s Gigafactory 4 project has officially been granted a sales contract by the Brandenburg State Committee in Germany.
The Financial Committee of Brandenburg came to an agreement in just two hours to approve the purchase agreement between Tesla and previous landowners for €40.91 million. The 300-hectare property was sold to the electric car manufacturer for just over €13.50 per square meter, around a third of the price of comparable land nearby.
The price was criticized by many on the Democratic side of the Financial Committee. Budget politician Ronny Kretschmer was vocal about his discontent with the land’s purchase price, stating that Tesla should have paid around €40 per square meter, roughly the same price as properties in the nearby Freienbrink Business Park.
However, the land Tesla purchased is not as developed compared to the nearby Freienbrink Business Park, which already has roadways, water lines, and electricity, among others. In comparison, Tesla will be required to build roads, water systems, street lights, and set up electricity on the GF4 complex.
According to Tagesspiegel, the price of the land could still change because some members of the Financial Committee have required an independent appraisal expert to evaluate the land. These experts are expected to arrive at the GF4 site in late January. If there are significant deviations between the land’s original price and the experts’ appraised value, the price will be adjusted accordingly.
A price that’s too low for Gigafactory 4’s land may actually be disadvantageous for Tesla. Local government officials in Brandenburg believe that if the finalized purchase price for the land is too low, it could end up inhibiting Tesla’s ability to receive subsidies from the European Union. This could negatively affect sales of the company’s vehicles in the long run.
Tesla has yet to decide on whether it would approve the purchase contract and the Committee believes the Silicon Valley-based electric car maker will come to a decision by mid-January. If Tesla approves the contract as a company, the company will have the option to withdraw from the purchase of the land until 2021. Brandenburg can also rescind its position and withdraw if the factory is not built.
Gigafactory 4 is expected to produce half-a-million vehicles per year. The company recently began preparing 159 hectares of the land by clearing trees for the Phase 1 stage of the upcoming complex, a process that needs to be completed by February 27. Tesla has also expressed the intention of planting three times the number of trees it cuts down. Tesla has also been surveying the land for World War II-era weapons that may still be underground.