Tesla is going to build “completely new batteries” at Gigafactory Berlin, according to Brandenburg Minister of Economics Jörg Steinbach.
When Elon Musk first announced Tesla’s plan to build a Gigafactory in Germany, the CEO said that Tesla will have battery cell production on site.
However, earlier this month, Tesla submitted a new version of their plan for Gigafactory Berlin for environmental approval with the local government, and in the update, the automaker removed plans for a battery factory at the location.
It raised doubts about Tesla moving forward with battery production at Gigafactory Berlin.
Now a few weeks later, Jörg Steinbach, Minister of Economics and one of the main backers of the project, said that Tesla does plan battery production at Gigafactory Berlin and it will be a “completely new technology” (via rbb24 translated from German):
“The electric car batteries that Tesla wants to produce in Grünheide are said to outshine all previous car batteries. There is a “completely new technology” behind the power storage, said Minister of Economics Jörg Steinbach (SPD) on Monday antenna Brandenburg. The new batteries are smaller and, thanks to their higher energy density, allow for greater range, the minister said. Tesla plans to provide details of its battery in the US at the end of September.”
This is in line with what we previously reported about Tesla’s Roadrunner project to build its own new “million-mile” battery cells with its own new production equipment developed in-house.
Tesla is expected to announce the details of the plan in September at its “Battery Day.”
During a conference call with analysts last week, Musk refused to confirm that Tesla will have its own battery cell production at the factory, but he did confirm that the cells will be “local”:
“We can’t say too much about this, except that there will be local cell production, and that will serve the needs of the Berlin factory.”
Under the latest plans submitted by Tesla, the automaker is expected to continue construction work at Gigafactory Berlin until March 2021 in order to start Model Y production at the plant by July 2021.
Musk said yesterday that Tesla is using pre-fab methods to accelerate construction of Gigafactory Berlin.
There is no timeline for battery production at the site.
I’m not sure why the battery plan disappears from the latest submission, but it makes a ton of sense for Tesla to build its own batteries in Berlin.
Elon is always talking about Berlin having all the latest manufacturing technology from Tesla — I’d think the Roadrunner battery manufacturing system would be included.
Furthermore, Tesla’s entire idea behind new factories in Europe and China is to reduce logistics cost, and having local battery production would go a long way toward that goal.