Tesla Gigafactory Berlin construction still on track despite pandemic: official

Tesla Giga Berlin rendering (Source: Emil Senkel | Twitter)

Tesla’s Giga Berlin production facility in Brandenburg, Germany, is set to begin construction without any significant delays, according to German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier.

Tesla started developing the land in Berlin in early January 2020 after CEO Elon Musk announced last November that the company had chosen Berlin as the location to house its newest Gigafactory. The facility will be starting its operations by producing the Model Y crossover for the European market.

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Monday that he did not expect any significant delays to occur at the electric automaker’s first European production plant, Reuters reported. The company’s anticipated completion date of July 2021 was put into jeopardy after the COVID-19 pandemic delayed some land development processes, along with the expected initial construction phases of the factory itself.

However, Altmaier explained that he does not believe any major delays will occur because of the pandemic. Tesla plans to begin building its cars, starting with the Model Y, its newest electric vehicle, in Berlin in Summer 2021.

Altmaier has been a vocal supporter of Tesla’s presence in Germany since the company announced its intentions to set up its next Gigafactory in Berlin.

“The construction of the Tesla automobile plant in Brandenburg has been of great importance for more climate protection and one of the most important industrial settlements in the new federal states for a long time,” Altmaier said in March.

Tesla has made substantial efforts to stay on its schedule, and German politicians have offered a helping hand in the process.

In late April, Brandenburg’s Minister of Economic Affairs Jörg Steinbach stated that some of Germany’s local government agencies are willing to prolong exemptions that are usually required by Federal Law to help Tesla stay on track. These include a public forum for residents to voice concerns about a new business or construction project.

Staying on schedule with the construction of the facility is crucial to the company’s future. The demand for Tesla’s vehicles continues to grow across the globe. In Germany, in particular, Tesla enjoyed an extraordinarily successful April despite the entire automotive sector struggling as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Giga Berlin will employ 12,000 Germans, and Tesla plans to produce  500,000 vehicles at the plant every year. The massive size of the factory also suggests that Tesla may be preparing to build not only the Model Y on the site, but perhaps some energy storage products as well.

Tesla Gigafactory Berlin construction still on track despite pandemic: official
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