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Tesla Granted Provisional Permission for Gigafactory Expansion Near Berlin

Tesla Granted Provisional Permission for Gigafactory Expansion Near Berlin

Berlin, July 05, 2024, The Europe Today: US electric vehicle giant Tesla has received provisional permission from German authorities to expand its “Gigafactory” located just outside Berlin, despite opposition from local residents. The factory, situated near the small town of Grünheide in Brandenburg, approximately 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) southeast of Berlin, is Tesla’s sole manufacturing site in Europe.

Tesla aims to double its production capacity at the expanded facility, increasing from approximately 500,000 vehicles per year to one million. Originally, the expansion plans involved clearing over 100 hectares of woodland. However, following a local referendum, Tesla reduced the scope of the project, including the elimination of plans for a new freight depot.

The Brandenburg state environment ministry, which oversees the region surrounding Berlin, stated that while official building permission has not yet been granted, Tesla may commence construction “at its own risk” following positive discussions. The approved expansion plans include laying new underground pipes, constructing new stairwells, and installing solar panels on roofs. Additionally, a new asphalted logistics area for new cars and a larger production hall are planned.

Tesla, owned by Elon Musk, has been operational in Brandenburg since March 2022 and employs around 12,000 people at its Grünheide site. However, the company announced 400 redundancies in April this year. In March, unknown saboteurs caused a significant power outage at the plant, prompting concerns from senior German politicians about the potential relocation of the factory. In May, climate activists attempted to storm the site, resulting in clashes with police.

The expansion of the Gigafactory is seen as a critical step for Tesla to meet increasing demand for electric vehicles in Europe and to solidify its presence in the European market.