In a recent statement to German media, Brandenburg Economy Minister Jörg Steinbach said he expects the final approval of the Tesla Gigafactory Berlin plant to be released in the fourth quarter. 2021. If that happened, production of the Model Y in the factory would be starting several months later than planned, which may not seem like too much of a delay. This could, however, result in Gigafactory Texas, a facility that began construction several months after the Germany-based factory, starting Model Y production earlier than its Germany-based sibling.
According to a report by Berlin.de, Steinbach said the principle of quality over speed applies in Gigafactory Berlin’s approval process. “The principle of quality over speed clearly applies in the approval process. The top priority is that the decision of the National Office for the Environment is ultimately legally secure. And the factory can only be opened once a positive approval decision has been taken, ”the minister said.
If the National Environment Agency refuses to grant final approval for the Gigafactory Berlin, Tesla would have to dismantle all the structures it has built on the huge Grünheide complex, which includes a factory designed to produce the Tesla. Model Y. Tesla is also expected to replace monoculture. forest he felled in the region. Steinbach noted, however, that he considered a final Environment Agency veto to be virtually impossible. “This is not about the approval of a new nuclear power plant,” he said.
Insofar as Giga Berlin is supported by the Minister of the Economy, it is clear that the project has encountered a significant decline in local entities. Aside from legal challenges by Naturschutzbund (Nabu) and the Green League over Giga Berlin’s latest early approval, Tesla is also under investigation by the Brandenburg National Environment Agency for allegedly building a refrigerant tank (which may still be empty) without authorization. Complaints about Giga Berlin’s alleged “illegal” tanks have been lodged by both environmental groups and are being handled for cruelty by the Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Administrative Court (OVG).
Similar issues have so far not plagued Gigafactory Texas. Since its announcement during the Q2 2020 earnings call, construction at Giga Texas has been relatively smooth. It’s been about 350 days since the announcement of the massive Texas-based facility, and so far testing for parts of the plant’s Model Y production line is already underway. Elon Musk even noted on Twitter in April that limited production of the Model Y would begin at Gigafactory Texas this year, with volume production hitting its pace in 2022.
What is quite interesting is that Gigafactory Texas’ footprint exceeds that of Gigafactory Berlin. Tesla adopted a different model for Giga Texas by immediately building large sections of the entire plant, and so far such a strategy seems to be working well. However, what really differentiates the Texas plant from its Germany-based counterpart is the amount of hindsight against the project as a whole. While Giga Berlin could barely move these days without encountering strong complaints and lawsuits from the Naturschutzbund (Nabu) and the Green League – or local news agencies for that matter – Giga Texas has up to now been supported.
It’s a pretty unfortunate situation overall, as Gigafactory Berlin actually started off strong. Following its initial announcement in November 2019, Giga Berlin’s first months showed a lot of progress, so much so that it looked like the facility could be built faster than Gigafactory Shanghai, whose Model 3 factory was built. and launched in less than a year. But just like Giga Texas, Gigafactory Shanghai was also built without much drama. Since its inauguration in January 2019, Tesla’s China-based factory has grown steadily and today it is already ready to export the Chinese-made Model Y to European territories.
Tesla recently opened orders for the Model Y in Europe, and the all-electric crossovers are said to be coming from Giga Shanghai. One could almost assume that Tesla opted for this strategy due to the delays at Giga Berlin. After all, the Grünheide plant was initially scheduled to start production of the Model Y in the second half of 2021. But if the Brandenburg Minister of Economics is optimistic that Giga Berlin’s final approval would be given to the fourth quarter, then having the Made-in from Giga Shanghai -China model Ys take over may indeed be a good idea.
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