Berlin’s first Tesla could arrive next month, Elon Musk tells fans
Tesla CEO Elon Musk stands in the foundry of the Tesla Gigafactory during a press event. year.
Patrick Pleul | image alliance | image alliance | Getty Images
The first cars to roll off Tesla’s new Berlin plant are expected to roll off the production line as early as next month, CEO Elon Musk said at the plant’s site on Saturday, but added that volume production would take a lot. more time to reach.
Musk hopes to get the green light in the coming weeks to start production at the site. The last consultation on public concerns about the site ends on October 14, after which the Environment Ministry will make a decision.
“Starting production is good, but volume production is the hardest part,” Musk told an enthusiastic audience at a festival at the factory site, many of which broadcast the speech live on social networks. “It will take longer to reach volume production than it took to build the plant.”
He said volume production will rise to 5,000 or “hopefully 10,000” vehicles per day, and battery cells will be manufactured there in volume by the end of next year.
He also defended the plant against criticism of its environmental impact, saying it used “relatively little” water and that the production of battery cells was “sustainable”.
Some local residents and environmental groups are unhappy with Musk’s approach, which they say runs counter to German corporate culture.
“I would tell him to stop building electric cars and instead fly to Mars,” said Manu Hoyer, who led a small protest by locals who oppose the project on environmental grounds, saying it will pollute drinking water.
The Brandenburg Minister of the Economy has estimated the chances of the plant being approved to operate at 95%.
Tesla has presented plans to invest 5 billion euros ($ 5.8 billion) in a 50 GWh capacity battery plant next to the site, surpassing Volkswagen’s planned 40 GWh site in Salzgitter.
Musk said Tesla was concerned that recruiting sufficient staff might be a problem, calling for people to apply “from all over Europe.”
He said he hoped the battery plant would reach volume production by the end of next year.
The company donated 9,000 tickets to the festival, with residents of the state of Brandenburg given priority.
“Look, mom! A Tesla, ”cried Emil, an excited 9-year-old, one of many children lined up with parents waiting for a 90-minute site visit.
Fans clapped and laughed as Musk took to the stage at sunset, welcoming him like a popstar.
“This day is unique,” said Tesla fan Fred Schroeder. “The Tesla factory in Germany will be open to the public for the first time. It’s a very special day.”
Another had driven his Tesla from Milton Keynes in Britain, although he did not have a ticket. He said it was worth seeing the site from the outside.