Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has constructed a massive electric car “gigafactory” outside Berlin, which is the company’s first European hub. Due to licensing issues with the local government, the facility delayed for eight months.
The factory, which cost more than €5 billion (£4 billion), is the largest investment in a German automobile manufacturer in recent history.
So far, more than 3,000 of the factory’s anticipated 12,000 workers have been hired, according to Tesla.
The plant, according to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, is a symbol of growth and the automotive industry’s future. Outside, however, environmentalists protested over issues ranging from the plant’s water use to the trees killed in its construction.
Tesla will deliver the first 30 Model Y Performance cars built in Germany on Tuesday. The automobiles have a range of 514 kilometers (320 miles) and cost €63,990 (£53,000), according to the company.
When fully operational, the factory would produce 500,000 cars per year, far exceeding the 450,000 battery-electric vehicles sold globally by German rival Volkswagen in 2021.
In addition, 50-gigawatt hours (GWh) of battery power will be generated.
For the time being, Volkswagen still has a 25 percent market share in Europe’s electric vehicle market, compared to Tesla’s 13 percent.
Mr. Musk has stated that ramping up production will take longer than the two years required to construct the plant.
On March 4, municipal authorities gave Tesla the green light to begin production. Subject to several conditions, including water usage and air pollution control.
When local environmental groups filed a protest against the environmental ministry, disputing the license is provided to Tesla’s water supplier. The manufacturer was on the verge of losing its water supply contract.
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