Manufacturing of its first cars at its “Gigafactory” in Gruenheide, near Berlin, is expeced to be started by United States based Tesla in October or soon afterwards, said the company’s Chief Executive Elon Musk.
The anticipated opening of the gigafactory was pushed to late 2021 by Tesla because of German bureaucratic hurdles.
Resistance form the local people over environmental issues also held up work at the factory to an extent.
“We’re looking forward to hopefully getting the approval to make the first cars maybe in October if we are fortunate,” Musk said on a visit to the plant with Armin Laschet, Germany’s conservative candidate who is slated to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor of the country.
A final approval to beginning of the project is yet to be given by the environmental agency in Brandenburg which means that the project could be delayed further even into the next year.
There has been resistance of the Tesla plant as its site partially overlaps a drinking water protection zone and is right next to a nature reserve.
“This region has so much water, look around you,” Musk said at the factory when asked about the water concerns. “It’s like water everywhere here. Does this seem like a desert to you?” he asked, laughing. “It rains a lot.”
“We’ve gotten a lot of support and that’s very much appreciated,” he said. “We feel very welcome and we’re very happy to be here in Deutschland.”
Musk would also invite drinking water protection zone to take a tour of thee factory, Musk later tweeted.
“Giga Berlin-Brandenburg county fair & factory tour on 9 October!” he tweeted. “Priority for residents of Brandenburg & Berlin, but also open to general public”.
Following pictures of Laschet going viral that showed him laughing on a visit to a flood-stricken town, his personal approval ratings have dropped, just ahead of a Sept. 26 federal election. Taling about red tapism, Laschet commented on the need for Germany to cut red tape.
“Sometimes one has the impression that inventing something new is technologically easier than dismantling bureaucracy in Germany,” he told reporters, standing side-by-side with Musk.
“We’re adding energy right now. This plant’s all about energy, green energy that’s sustainable,” said Musk when asked if he had any tips for Laschet to help energise his election campaign.
“Hopefully … this factory here can serve as an inspiration to people in Germany and throughout Europe for excitement about the future,” Musk added.
In order to determine if they are a net benefit, one could arrange for a periodic review of regulations at local, state, and federal level in Germany, and at EU level, the electric carmaker’s CEO said.
With ever-more rules, he warned, “eventually people will not be able to do anything at all.”
“It cannot always be about problems every day. Do you want to wake up every morning and everything’s just a problem? Musk asked. “(I want) people to be inspired about the future, and don’t forget to have children – that’s important.”
(Adapted from Europe.Autonews.com)