According to Brandenburg’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Jörg Steinbach, the state’s final approval for the Tesla Gigafactory in Grünheide near Berlin should be available in less than three weeks include everything through the end of the first quarter. However, new statements from Axel Vogel, his ministerial colleague from the environmental department, suggest that the immission control permit will be a long time coming.
“Deliveries not before approval”
The official date for the start of production at Giga Berlin is stated in the application documents as July 2021. Tesla itself has not yet shaken it publicly, but Economics Minister Steinbach said in February that he was not sure whether delays of around two months that have arisen so far could still be made up. It later became known that Tesla had mentioned this May as the planned start of prototype production of Model Y to logistics partners and July or August for the start of series production.
Tesla itself has made a “declaration” that it will be able to “let cars roll off the assembly line”, unchanged from this July, said Environment Minister Axel Vogel in a parliamentary committee. Technically, that is probably also possible, he explained. Before that, however, the approval process must be completed: “No cars will be delivered from an unapproved factory,” said the minister clearly. Only when the approval has been given can “something also be produced and resold”.
When exactly the legal preparatory work will be done, Vogel did not want to estimate in the meeting on Wednesday. However, he had an employee informed about the remaining steps.
The State Environment Agency had to create its own environmental impact report as the “heart” of the process, she said. This will probably be at least 100 pages long and cannot be produced until all of the latest statements have been received from all authorities involved. “We are now working on it bit by bit,” said the employee. And with every larger system, “it takes a long time to complete this final test step”. Like the minister himself, she wants to emphasize that legal certainty comes before speed.
Minister: No time pressure because of Tesla
The employee did not provide any time information, but her statements no longer sound after the Tesla approval promised by the Minister of Economics until the end of March. Environment Minister Vogel also stated that public participation in the Gigafactory project has now been completed. All documents would now be “processed successively, continuously and with high quality, without us being or being put under time pressure”.