In the opinion of Brandenburg’s Economics Minister Jörg Steinbach (SPD), the US electric car manufacturer Tesla’s factory in Grünheide near Berlin could be built faster than an existing plant in China. “The goal at Tesla seems to be to undercut the construction time of the Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai again”, Steinbach told the newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
“According to my observation, this could quite succeed”Steinbach said. Tesla had hoisted the Shanghai plant within eleven months. Tesla has had approval for foundation work in Grünheide in Brandenburg since the end of May. Accordingly, the construction could already be completed in April. From summer 2021, the company plans to build around 500,000 vehicles a year in Grünheide, where around 12,000 workers are to be deployed. However, it is not certain whether the first vehicles will actually be ready in a year.
Tesla boss Elon Musk himself wrote confidently on Twitter a few days ago that the Giga Berlin factory would be built at an unimaginable pace and pointed out the use of prefabrication. Because the state of Brandenburg has not yet given environmental approval for the project, Tesla is building on the site near Berlin at its own risk.
The project is controversial in the region. One criticism is the planned water withdrawal: Many in the region fear that this will the groundwater level continues to drop. Tesla initially spoke of a water requirement of 372 cubic meters per hour, but then announced that it would reduce the amount by about a third. Most recently, the water association Strausberg-Erkner (WSE), who is responsible for the water supply of the region in which the Tesla factory is being built, that an expansion of the not yet built plant could lead to supply problems.