In a recent appearance at a podcast with German media outlet InfoRadio.de, Brandenburg Economy Minister Steinbach noted that Tesla’s final permits for Gigafactory Berlin would not jeopardize the electric car maker’s plans to start vehicle production around July this year.
Steinbach’s update is quite favorable for Tesla and its plans for its first Germany-based electric car production facility. After all, Tesla has expressed its plans to start the production of the Model Y in Gigafactory Berlin this year. If the facility does start operations as expected, Giga Berlin could play an essential role in bolstering Tesla’s overall 2021 deliveries, most of which would likely be dependent on the output of Giga Shanghai and the Fremont Factory.
While Steinbach assured that the issuance of the final permit would not get in the way of Tesla’s Model Y production in the Germany-based plant, the minister admitted that other factors might come into play that could delay the project. These include judicial challenges against Giga Berlin, such as those that emerged when Tesla was looking to clear more trees from the area.
“I don’t want to exclude that there are delays in the production process, but I have not been officially informed by Tesla. And if (a delay happens), then it’s either that we have had in the last year, especially by the significantly prolonged hearing…I cannot judge at this point if Tesla will recover this time or if it will end up delaying the start of production, but that is then primarily the cause of the delay and not the final approval,” the minister said.
For now, Tesla is still building Gigafactory Berlin using pre-approvals. The site’s progress has been notable, with machines used for vehicle production already being spotted on the complex. Amidst this flurry of activity that is now being dubbed as “Tesla Speed,” Gigafactory Berlin’s final permit has remained elusive. Nevertheless, Steinbach remained optimistic, noting that Tesla’s EV factory will benefit the state of Brandenburg.
“The maxim must be that an expected judicial challenge of this permit is rejected. The approval is valid and thus comes into effect. This is in the interest of the investor but also in the interest of the state of Brandenburg that this happens,” he said.