An official announcement in the Brandenburg gazette marks the formal beginning of the approval procedure for the planned Tesla plant in Germany. The public notice states that Tesla intends to start up the plant in Grünheide, near Berlin, in July 2021.
The plan is to produce the Model Y and Model 3 as well as future models with an estimated annual production of 500,000 vehicles. According to the document with the unwieldy title “Construction and operation of a plant for the construction and assembly of electric vehicles with a capacity of 100,000 units or more per year at location 15537 Grünheide (Mark)”, the permit application and the related documents will be available for inspection at several offices until 5 February 2020. Objections to the construction project can be submitted to the State Office for the Environment, the municipality of Grünmark, the town of Erkner or the Spreehagen Office by 5 March 2020. If objections are submitted, a discussion date can be scheduled for 18 March 2020.
The letter will also confirm earlier information on the scope of the work. The plant on the more than three million square metre area is to receive a press shop, foundry, body shop, paint shop, seat production, plastics production, battery production, drive train production and final assembly. In addition, a wastewater treatment plant, a central supply building, a delivery and collection area and an employee parking lot are planned.
Details of the planned jobs are not included in the announcement; the Brandenburg state government had last mentioned the number of 3,000 jobs in the first expansion stage. This figure seems realistic, as an expert opinion commissioned by Tesla on the environmental compatibility of the construction project mentions 2,828 employees per shift and a production rate of 60 vehicles per hour. A link to the entire document with 246 pages can be found at the end of the text.
The report also shows that Tesla intends to cover its energy requirements with both electricity and natural gas. In particular, natural gas is to be used for the energy-intensive melting process in the aluminum foundry and for the central heating and drying ovens in the paint shop. The remaining energy is to be covered in the form of electricity (a capacity of 109 MW is mentioned) – “for the supply and control of production as well as for the technical building equipment (lighting etc.) and the supply of all electrical appliances”. Which energy source is to be used for the planned battery production is not mentioned in the report.