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

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

The 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 does not currently have a concrete offer.

Tesla’s site has so far covered around 300 hectares. On March 22, Tesla opened the new car factory in Grünheide, Brandenburg, in the presence of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and company head Elon Musk. In the first phase of expansion, 500,000 vehicles per year have to roll off the assembly line. According to the company, however, production is only gradually increasing – it is not yet clear when that number will be reached.

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

In last year’s updated application from Tesla, there is no mention of a freight warehouse. It just states that there is a main track in the GVZ Freienbrink commercial area with a direct connection to the Berlin – Moscow route and the Berlin railway loop. There is a siding there on the factory premises. The RBB wrote that six hectares of the planned purchase site belonged to the electricity supplier Edis and the rest to the state of Brandenburg. Tesla did not initially comment on the report. However, such a site should be designated as an industrial area, which requires an updated development plan.

Environmentalists fear negative consequences with the settlement. Tesla has not yet met all the requirements, but according to the Brandenburg state government, he only needs to check the requirements for the parts of the running system. The release of a water pollutant in the paint shop caused a stir in April. According to Environment Minister Axel Vogel (Verdi), there was never a risk of entering groundwater or sewers.


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