One of the most notable moments in Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s visit to the Gigafactory Berlin complex was an impromptu interview with several members of the media. Musk discussed numerous topics in his 9-minute interview, from the quick buildout of Giga Berlin, the upcoming facility’s next-generation paint shop, and why it is pertinent for the German electric vehicle factory to be constructed as soon as possible. But beyond this, Musk also shared details about a couple of pertinent initiatives that will be rolled out in Gigafactory Berlin: the Model Y redesign and local battery cell production.
Based on Musk’s comments, it appears that Giga Berlin is poised to be Tesla’s most advanced factory yet. After candidly admitting that the vehicles from the German plant will likely have better paint than those produced in the United States, Musk noted that the Made-in-Germany Model Y will also be undergoing a radical redesign. Musk stated that some of these updates to the Model Y will be discussed during Battery Day. Following is Musk’s statement as transcribed by Tesla bull and enthusiast James Stephenson.
“Like I was saying, you know, we build the factory and then also there’s a bunch of innovative stuff that we will be doing here that we will tell you about in the future… It’s not just a copy of the Model Y. It’s actually a radical redesign of the core technology of building a car. And some of this, when I do Battery Day in September, I’ll be talking about what we are going to be doing here in Berlin. But it will be the first time there’s going to be a transformation in the core structural design of the vehicle. It’s quite, quite a big thing,” Musk remarked.
Apart from providing new details about the Model Y redesign, Musk also confirmed that Tesla is looking to produce battery cells in the Gigafactory Berlin complex. The Tesla CEO shared this detail while explaining why there is such a rush to get Giga Berlin online as soon as possible. According to Musk, it is pertinent to move fast because of Tesla’s mission, which is to accelerate the advent of sustainable energy. Ultimately, Musk noted that for the sake of the climate, companies like Tesla must move as fast as they can.
“I believe in speed. And I think also, well, to be serious for a second, I think it’s very important for our climate that we move quickly. It matters. I think it’s very important that we accelerate the transition to sustainable energy and that we move as quickly as possible. So this is the reason for the sense of urgency… And I’ve been saying this for a long time. It’s good to see some companies like VW taking this seriously now, but still only a very small percentage of cars that are made are electric.
“And then I think we will probably do more than cars here. I think we will provably be building some battery cells here. I think that’ll be good for stationary storage of wind and solar. Essentially, the three elements that are necessary for a sustainable energy future are energy generation, energy storage, and electric transportation — electric cars, and eventually, electric aircraft. Ironically, everything will go electric except rockets,” Musk said.
Interestingly enough, initial plans for Gigafactory Berlin actually had large areas of the site allotted for a battery cell facility. With this in mind, it appears that Tesla has been pondering local battery cell production for Giga Berlin for some time now. Perhaps the bigger question now is if the company will be utilizing a partner for the Berlin site, similar to its strategy with Panasonic in Gigafactory Nevada, or if Tesla will operate its own custom battery cell lines, similar to the “Roadrunner” project in Fremont.
Watch Elon Musk’s full interview at Gigafactory Berlin in the video below.
H/T James Stephenson.