Berlin on November 12, 2019: Tesla boss Elon Musk travels to the German capital for the “Golden Steering Wheel” award ceremony. In the evening, the entrepreneur drops an unexpected bomb: the next Gigafactory is to be built in Berlin. An announcement that has been making numerous headlines ever since. We provide you with all the background and information about Tesla’s next mega factory in the live ticker.
We will keep you up to date on new developments at this point, but we would also like to refer you to our overview of all NewsABC.net articles on the Brandenburg Tesla factory.
July 10, 2020
“Where there is planing, chips fall.” And where Tesla is building one of its giant gigafactories, trees are falling – in the case of the Gigafactory Brandenburg currently under construction on an area of almost 200 hectares. Brandenburg’s Ecological Democratic Party (ÖDP) no longer wants to accept this. It calls on the state government to immediately stop construction, according to a recently released press release.
Not only was the increase in the area to be cleared from 155 to 194 hectares unacceptable, because the additional 39 hectares were used to build a test track. But “such tests can be carried out without problems on other routes,” said the party. The ÖDP also repeats the criticism repeatedly voiced that the factory would consume too much water and thus endanger the surrounding nature and water protection areas.
Furthermore, the ÖDP criticizes the Tesla proposal to compensate for the cleared forest elsewhere with new plantings. While a dry, hot summer follows the last, such new plantings would only partially or not at all bear fruit.
It remains to be seen how much appeal the ÖDP will find with its demand. In the 2019 state elections, the party was only able to win over 0.6 percent of Brandenburg voters.
May 28, 2020
Another Tesla location found in Berlin
In addition to the Gigafactory, Elon Musk is planning a Tesla development location in Berlin. As the “Tagesspiegel” reports, it is to be created in the iconic gasometer in the Schöneberg district, which is currently being converted into an office building as part of the Euref campus.
May 27, 2020
Tesla can advance preparation for factory with foundation work
The US electric car maker Tesla can start another stage in preparation for the construction of the first factory in Europe. The Brandenburg State Office for the Environment granted approval for foundation work, as spokesman for the Ministry of the Environment, Sebastian Arnold, announced in Potsdam on Wednesday. This enables, for example, the construction of flat foundations, pipes and supports as well as the construction of construction pits. Tesla can also use it to improve the underground and build an area for loading and unloading materials that are delivered by rail. (dpa)
May 22, 2020
News from the Tesla Gigafactory in Brandenburg: This is what it looks like on the construction site
Tesla has come a long way in preparing for construction. In the beginning there was still a thick pine forest on the site where Elon Musk’s company plans to build its Gigafactory. In the meantime, it has been cleared, the roots have been torn out, the ground has been removed and the underlying Brandenburg sand has been leveled.
Tesla Gigafactory: Work in Brandenburg has progressed this far
May 19, 2020
“Ecological catastrophe!” – Citizens’ initiative wants to stop factory construction due to groundwater risk
The work and preparations on the site in Brandenburg, on which the Tesla Gigafactory is to be built, are currently largely suspended. The opponents of the project, on the other hand, don’t do this. But on the contrary. On Tuesday, the “Grünheide Citizens’ Initiative Against Gigafactory” submitted an open letter to the Ministry of the Environment in Brandenburg.
The main concern: The construction of the factory should be stopped because the groundwater in the area is already scarce and is being further thinned out by the Gigafactory and neighboring industries.
You can read more about this here.
April 21, 2020
No corona break
The ongoing preparations for the construction of the Tesla Gigafactory in Brandenburg are almost complete.
When the German economy completely shut down operations in some places in the past few weeks, preparations for the construction of the Tesla Gigafactory in Brandenburg continued at full speed.
According to information from NewsABC.net, more than a dozen excavators, six bulldozers, 15 tractors, ten shredders and lots of rollers are sifting through the 90-hectare site in Grünheide. The goal: to prepare the ground perfectly for the construction of the factory. This work is now almost complete, NewsABC.net learned.
Most of the 250,000 cubic meters of forest floor has been removed, the remaining roots of the cleared trees have been torn out and the Brandenburg sand has been leveled under the forest floor.
You can read more about this here.
April 15, 2020
New painting technology
Tesla boss Elon Musk has announced on Twitter that Gigafactory Berlin will be the first factory to use a new painting technology.
“Giga Berlin will have the most advanced paint shop in the world,” he wrote on Twitter. The technology enables a color gradient that changes subtly with the curvature of the body. Tesla is thus able to deliver its electric cars “in any color or pattern”, for example the Cybertruck.
The Tesla boss also provided the information that Gigafactory Berlin will initially focus on the production of the Model Y. The mid-range SUV will therefore be the first model to benefit from the new paint technology.
You can read more about this here.
March 22, 2020
Despite Corona, work continues on the Gigafactory in Brandenburg under high pressure
According to information from NewsABC.net, more than a dozen excavators, six bulldozers, 15 tractors, ten shredders and lots of rollers are sifting through the 90-hectare site. The goal: make the ground fit for factory construction. Until then, there are still three work steps that are known in the industry as “Cut and Fill”.
Step 1: First of all, 250,000 cubic meters of forest soil must be removed from the site.
Step 2: Afterwards, the remaining roots have to be torn from the cleared trees on the 90 hectares.
Step 3: After this has been done, the Mark Brandenburg sand, which lies under the worn earthquake, is exposed. For this reason, the factory is to be built. However, this must first be leveled before construction can start.
And all of that, even though the corona virus is now closing numerous companies, venues and the like.
You can read more about this here.
February 22, 2020
Deforestation work on Tesla property completed for the time being
Tesla has for the time being completed the clearing work on the property in Grünheide, which has been stopped several times. As the “BZ” reports, the cleared area amounts to an area of 90 hectares.
February 20, 2020
Again protests against the construction of the Gigafactory
The citizens’ initiative against the planned Tesla factory in Grünheide has once again protested against the US electric car manufacturer’s billion dollar project. According to the police, around 150 participants came to Erkner not far from Grünheide on Saturday, where the factory is to be built. Among other things, the citizens are committed to the preservation of the landscape and the protected areas as well as sufficient drinking water.
Court order: Tesla may continue clearing
The Higher Administrative Court (OVG) Berlin-Brandenburg rejected the complaints from two nature conservation associations. The US company can continue clearing accordingly. This order can not be contested. The first reactions from Brandenburg politicians are positive, but the inferior environmental association Green League was disappointed. The German economy had been warned of the failure of the major project.
February 19, 2020
12,000 jobs and solar roof for the Gigafactory
Tesla has published new information on the Gigafactory in Grünheide on an information website. For the first time, the American company specifically discloses how many jobs are to be created in Grünheide. Accordingly, Tesla plans to employ “up to 12,000 employees” at the start of production in 2021. A number that clearly exceeds estimates originally communicated. In the period called “Phase 1” after the start of production, Tesla plans to produce 10,000 Model Y vehicles per week.
On the new information website, Tesla confirms that it wants to strengthen the “natural environment near the plant and throughout the state of Brandenburg”. As became known for the first time, the Gigafactory is to be equipped with a solar roof. The company also wants to ensure that the rail connection for commuters is “as attractive as possible”.
February 17, 2020
Residents accuse state policies of poor information policy
The activist Steffen Schorcht started a citizens’ initiative against the Gigafactory with fellow citizens. In an interview with NewsABC.net, Schorcht revealed: “I am not fundamentally against Tesla or electromobility”. Rather, his anger affects state politics, from which he feels that he is insufficiently informed. He accuses her of having a bad information policy. Schorcht and his colleagues are currently working on objections that can be submitted as part of the environmental impact assessment by March 5. On March 18, Tesla will have to address these concerns at a discussion in Erkner.
Activists occupy trees on Tesla property
On the site of the planned Tesla factory in Grünheide there was a police operation with helicopters and rescuers in the morning, in which two women were brought from a self-made wooden platform in the trees.
After the law enforcement officers repeatedly unsuccessfully asked them to leave the forest, they called the police. High-altitude rescuers from the riot police could have convinced the women of the descent at around 2 p.m. and roped them down unharmed, the police directorate in Potsdam said.
February 15, 2020
Court stops clearing: Gigafactory faces considerable delay
Tesla has to stop clearing the forest area two days after the start. The Higher Administrative Court (OVG) Berlin-Brandenburg complied with an application from the Brandenburg Green League, which is also committed to the preservation of the forest area.
The chairman of the environmental association, Heinz-Herwig Mascher, defends the procedure in conversation with NewsABC.net: “We are concerned with compliance with laws and with the rule of law everything being clean.”
February 11, 2020
Tesla submits a funding application to the Investitionsbank Brandenburg (ILB)
Tesla has submitted a grant application for the construction of its factory in Grünheide to the Investitionsbank Brandenburg (ILB). Like all other companies, the US automaker would also have access to funding opportunities from the joint task to improve the regional economic structure (GRW) and ESF training funding to qualify skilled workers, reports the “Handelsblatt”.
February 5, 2020
Introductory event with residents in Grünheide
The carmaker is trying to provide further information. At an introductory event in Grünheide, the company provided detailed information about Tesla’s plans. The opponents of the Gigafactory seemed to be avoiding the event. In contrast, numerous visitors betrayed business insiders to welcome the construction of the mega-factory as a result of the new jobs.
The property of the Gigafactory was once a Stasi site
From a historical point of view, Tesla’s choice of location also creates a need for speech. The regional television broadcaster rbb recently reported that the 300-hectare site once belonged to the Ministry for State Security (MfS). In a sealed-off settlement with a rail connection, Stasi employees are said to have checked GDR post, among other things. Letters were opened and packages from West Germany were looted. According to contemporary witnesses, terrorist and explosives training is also said to have been carried out in the settlement.
Petition is to prevent deforestation of the forest areas
A petition from the environmental protection association “Save the rainforest” has so far found more than 25,000 supporters. The initiators want to prevent the clearing of the forest areas and ask Musk and Tesla to build “only on existing commercial areas”.
February 4, 2020
Musk comments on the choice of location
Tesla boss Elon Musk spoke in a podcast about his reasons for choosing Grünheide in Brandenburg as the location for the European Gigafactory. Speed was important, Musk said. The government has also given Tesla a lot of support. He also mentioned the rail connection in Grünheide, with which you can go directly to Berlin. So families could also live nearby cheaply. “That sounds cool,” says the Tesla boss.
January 27, 2020
Tesla applies for subsidies for battery cell research and manufacturing
As part of a major European project, Tesla is applying for subsidies for battery cell research and production. Specifically, it is about participating in a project with the working title “EuBatIn” (European Battery Innovation). The major project, promoted by Minister of Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier, brings together 14 EU member states and more than 55 companies to jointly research innovative battery technology.
January 25, 2020
Elon Musk rejects allegations about the construction of the Gigafactory in Brandenburg
Elon Musk responds to the ongoing criticism from opponents of the Gigafactory on Twitter. He denied any allegations about himself and his company. On the one hand, the factory would by no means consume the feared amounts of water. On the other hand, he points out that the forest was not naturally grown, but was created artificially. For the production of cardboard.
January 18, 2020
200 residents demonstrate against the construction of the Gigafactory
The reports from the authorities and conservationists are ensuring that a growing number of local residents oppose Tesla’s plans. In Grünheide, 200 opponents have already gathered for a demonstration. With posters such as “No large factory in the forest”, “Secretly negotiated – environment changed” and “Tesla or drinking water” mobilized citizens against the planned settlement of the car manufacturer.
January 17, 2020
Wasserverband warns of bottlenecks in water supply
The US company is also under attack from another direction. As the Strausberg-Erkner water association reports, the water supply could cause problems. The association stated in a press release that “currently neither the drinking water supply nor the waste water disposal can be guaranteed in the time frame requested by Tesla”. At the request of NewsABC.net, the state government announced that it was optimistic that the concerns would be removed in good time.
January 15, 2020
Tesla opens community office in the community of Grünheide
Brandenburg’s Economics Minister Jörg Steinbach (SPD) accuses Tesla of avoiding dialogue with concerned citizens: “It cannot be that we do the public relations work for Tesla,” said Steinbach, “Tesla has to do it himself.” The US company reacted and set up a community office in Grünheide.
January 8, 2020
New details on the purchase price of the property published
Tesla is expected to pay 40.91 million euros for the property in Grünheide. The finance committee of the Brandenburg state parliament will decide on the purchase contract next Thursday. The final purchase price is determined by an independent appraisal. If the sum remains unchanged, the price per square meter is 13.50 euros. A relatively low value, which is due, among other things, to the lack of electricity, water and road connections.
November 27, 2019
Gigafactory plans create a spirit of optimism in Brandenburg
Brandenburg’s Minister of Economy, Labor and Energy, Jörg Steinbach (SPD), hopes that Tesla will have a “huge pull” for the region. Tesla also makes the location attractive for other companies and industries, said Steinbach at a press conference on the occasion of the training and job market in Brandenburg
November 26, 2019
Climate activists are calling on Tesla to act actively
Numerous environmentalists are concerned about the plans of the US automaker, as forest areas are to be cleared for the factory in Grünheide, Brandenburg. The state chairman of the nature conservation association (Nabu) in Brandenburg, Friedhelm Schmitz-Jersch, asked Tesla to take active action. He wants professional mapping to ensure “what types are there that need to be considered”.
During a visit to the property, the conservationist found that a partial area consists of a pine forest with trees and high biodiversity. According to Schmitz-Jersch, the endangered species include bats, some of which spend the winter in old tree hollows. Before clearing, the animals would have to be resettled according to species. In the past, the construction of similar large-scale projects had to be stopped because of animal protection.
Tesla’s plans to reforest the cleared area elsewhere in a ratio of one to three do not convince the conservationists. Schmitz-Jersch notes that “Nabu prefers class rather than mass”.
November 13, 2019
Gigafactory 4 is to produce Model Y.
Tesla wants to use the Gigafactory in Grünheide for the production of batteries, electrical drive components and vehicles. As Musk announced on Twitter, the new E-SUV Model Y should make the start. The little brother of the Model X could become Tesla’s most successful vehicle to date. Model 3 will follow later.
Grünheide location with numerous advantages for Tesla
The US automaker may have deliberately chosen the location of the new Gigafactory. Automobile analyst Jürgen Pieper from the Metzler bank explains further details to NewsABC.net: “Elon Musk knows that German manufacturers will start rolling off electric vehicles in series from 2020. He wants to attack Germany on the home market ”.
If Tesla succeeds in putting the factory into operation at the end of 2021, the e-car maker could gain a clear advantage in the fight for the German e-car turnaround. Because while German car manufacturers are struggling with problems in the production of their first electric vehicles, Tesla recently got a better grip on the production of its own models.
In addition, the electric pioneer benefits from a factory on German soil in the event of import duties on vehicles. Tesla could simply avoid these additional costs and continue to quickly bring the entry-level models to the consumer.
Thomas Puls, Senior Economist at the Institute of German Business (IW) in Cologne, rated the choice of location positively in an interview with NewsABC.net: “I would consider Tesla’s decision as a signal that the German location is not as bad as it always is becomes”. At the same time, Puls notes that the car manufacturers “end up competing on the world market and not just on the tiny German market.”
First job advertisements published
The first job offers for the Brandenburg location went online just a few minutes after Musk’s announcement. Without detailed descriptions, the carmaker calls on interested parties to apply for the areas of engineering, construction, operations and manufacturing.
The settlement of the US company creates thousands of new jobs in rural Grünheide. Tesla expects to be able to create 6,000 to 7,000 jobs in the Gigafactory. Hundreds to thousands more people are to be employed at additional locations in Berlin that could be used for research or administration.
However, the company of the eccentric boss Elon Musk is almost constantly criticized for offering too hard and chaotic working conditions. Musk is known for demanding top performance from its employees at all times – a pressure that many employees do not withstand for long. In addition to permanent stress, employees have to deal with unpredictable management decisions. The production figures are often used as the sole basis for evaluating work performance.
Brandenburg’s prime minister proud of Tesla’s settlement
Brandenburg’s Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke (SPD) was proud to have brought the project to the state: “As an innovative and international location, the Gigafabrik will give Brandenburg another boost and a lot of good work for many people.” Deal worked with Musk.
Survey among Grünheid citizens reveals mixed attitudes
The planned construction of the Gigafactory causes mixed attitudes among the residents of Grünheid. A survey by NewsABC.net a few hours after Musk’s announcement revealed that the population was happy about jobs, but that nature conservation was extremely important.
November 12, 2019
Tesla plans Gigafactory in Brandenburg
Huge surprise at the awarding of the “Golden Steering Wheel”: Tesla boss Elon Musk announced that the fourth gigafactory of the US automaker should be built near Berlin.
The plan sounds ambitious. A gigafactory is to be built in Grünheide, Brandenburg, a municipality southeast of Berlin, within two years. Tesla boss Elon Musk has announced that production in the German Gigafactory should start as early as 2021. In China, the company managed to put the Giga factory into operation within one year. Construction work for the Brandenburg factory should therefore start in autumn 2020 at the latest. However, Musk is aiming to start construction in the first half of the year.
Tesla has chosen a plot of land in Freienbrink, a district of Grünheide. The 300-hectare property is located in the immediate vicinity of the A10 motorway and the Freienbrink freight center. The future capital airport Berlin-Brandenburg is 33.6 kilometers away.
A look at Tesla’s corporate history: Since the Model S was announced in 2009, the California-based automobile manufacturer has been working on offering mass-market electric cars. In order to be able to produce sufficient batteries, the company has been using the Gigafactories concept since 2014. While these factories initially only specialized in electric motors, battery units and energy storage, they are expected to produce hundreds of thousands of electric cars in the future. Tesla currently operates three gigafactories, two of which are located in the United States. Musk opened its third giant factory in Shanghai in early January. Now Berlin should follow.