Gigafactory is getting gigantic: Tesla wants to expand the car factory in Grünheide

Tesla wants to expand its car factory in Germany. According to the state government of Brandenburg, the American electric car manufacturer plans to expand the Grünheide site near Berlin. “The state government is aware of Tesla’s plans to acquire additional land east of the Tesla site,” Environment Department spokeswoman Frauke Zelt said on request Thursday.

Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB), citing unspecified authorities, said the company wanted to buy around 100 hectares east of the car factory for a freight station and storage space. The Environment Ministry said the department currently has no concrete offers.

The Tesla site so far covers about 300 hectares. On March 22, Tesla inaugurated the new automobile plant in Grünheide in Brandenburg – in the presence of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and business leader Elon Musk. In the first phase of expansion, 500,000 vehicles per year are to roll off the assembly line. According to the company, however, production is only increasing gradually – it is still unclear when the number will be reached.

The planned battery factory, in which Musk wants to manufacture his own modern battery cells, is currently still under construction. The state of Brandenburg approved the car and battery plant in March.

In Tesla’s updated app from last year, there’s no mention of a freight depot. It only states that there is a main line in the GVZ Freienbrink business area with a direct connection to the Berlin – Moscow route and the Berlin Ring Road. There’s siding there in the factory premises. The RBB wrote that six hectares of the site planned to be purchased belonged to electricity supplier Edis and the rest to the state of Brandenburg. Tesla initially did not comment on the report. However, such a site should be designated as an industrial zone, which requires an up-to-date development plan.

Environmentalists fear negative consequences with the settlement. Tesla hasn’t met all the requirements yet, but according to the Brandenburg state government, it only needs to tick off the requirements for parts of the system that are in operation. The release of a water polluting substance in the paint shop caused a stir in April. According to Environment Minister Axel Vogel (Greens), there has never been any risk of penetration into groundwater or sewers.


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