Tesla (TSLA.O) has recently taken a significant step towards realizing its ambitious vision of transforming its Gigafactory near Berlin into Europe’s largest car manufacturing plant.
According to documents published by the local environment ministry and water authority on Wednesday, the electric vehicle giant has formally requested approval from German local authorities to implement sweeping changes to the facility.
Tesla’s expansion plan aims to double the factory’s capacity, aiming to produce up to 1 million cars annually and 100 gigawatt hours of battery production. These figures would surpass even the massive output of Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) flagship plant in Wolfsburg. Tesla Gigafactory Berlin Electric Vehicles Car Manufacturing Expansion Plans European Car Market Battery Production Environmental Impact Water Recycling Volkswagen Grünheide German Local Authorities Automotive Industry Sustainable Manufacturing Green Technology
The proposed modifications, which are the first of three stages of change, involve several critical updates to the existing infrastructure. Among them are the construction of a state-of-the-art battery cell testing lab and an extension of water recycling facilities, both set to be operational by the first half of 2024.
Additional enhancements encompass extensions and alterations to the press shop and paint shop and the construction of a material storage facility, as stated in the application documents.
Tesla’s plans have been met with various challenges, leading to considerable delays in the plant’s opening date. Local citizens have filed numerous objections, primarily focusing on environmental impact and water usage concerns. However, the company has committed to recycling the 1.4 million cubic meters of water it is licensed to use, instead of drawing any additional water capacity.
Despite the obstacles, Tesla remains determined to move forward with its expansion project. If all goes according to plan, the Gigafactory Berlin is expected to surpass the production capacity of Volkswagen’s renowned Wolfsburg plant, which produced 400,000 vehicles last year, trailing behind Tesla’s target output.
As part of its effort to address local concerns, Tesla recently conducted a question-and-answer session to engage with the community. Locals have until mid-September to submit objections to the latest proposals.
It is worth noting that Tesla currently produces approximately 5,000 cars per week at its Grünheide facility, with no specific timeline announced for reaching the planned increased output.