The Gigafactories under construction in Texas and Berlin have been making progress despite the final permit for the site in Grünheide, close to the German capital still pending. Brandenburg state minister Jörg Steinbach is confident however to be able to grant final permissions before the year’s end.
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A hearing to recapture the 406 objections is set for 23 September in the town of Erkner. However, when the state of Brandenburg may grant permission to go ahead with Giga Berlin as a whole is “closely linked to the development plan procedure,” Steinbach explained when speaking to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).
Besides the estimated date for the environmental permit, Steinbach also commented on job creation the state expects through the Tesla factory. The minister estimates up to 40,000 employees could be working at Giga Berlin in the next ten years, depending on the market situation. For the first 6,000 of the planned 12,000 jobs, according to the state government, the skills required are available – both in production and administration.
The state of Brandenburg announced that a total of 406 objections had been received in the approval process by the deadline on 3 September. The authorities say they will discuss these objections on 23 September starting at 10 a.m. in the town hall of Erkner.
Only objectors will be allowed to participate in the discussion due to limited seating. At the meeting, the objectors will explain their objections again and may question the authorities and the applicant – i.e. Tesla. However, no decision will be made at this meeting.
Tesla says they continue to assume that it will be able to adhere to the timetable it has set itself, despite possible adjustments to the plans for the environmental permit. According to Gigafactory boss Evan Horetzky, the opening of the plant in Grünheide should “definitely take place in the first half of 2021”. Currently, the factory is about 20 per cent ready, a press meeting on site this week revealed.
As Teslamag writes, a “large ancillary building for drive production is almost ready”, and countless concrete pillars have been set for the main building. In some cases, the walls of the main building are already built with concrete elements and roof coverings. However, the elaborate interior work and installation of machines are still pending.
Cybertruck production could already start in May 2021
The machines will be unique as reported. According to documents of Tesla in Grünheide, there will be eight of the new colossal die casting machines for Model Y production that allows casting the car’s rear frame in one piece. In August, Tesla received the first of these machines at its main plant in Fremont.
The use of such large casting machines should not be limited to the rear frame. In June, Elon Musk had already stated in a podcast interview that the body of a Model Y should in future consist of only four parts instead of 70. In the long term, it could even be made entirely from a single casting.
During his visit to Grünheide, Musk was impressed by the speed of construction, and Horetzky (who has already worked on Gigafactory 1 in Nevada and Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai) also praised the construction method with the prefabricated concrete elements, which makes an “incredibly high construction speed” possible.
But things could go a little faster at Giga Texas: According to reports, test production of the Cybertruck could start as early as May 2021 at the Austin factory, whose construction began well after Grünheide. The Tesla Motors Club had leaked screenshots from a Tesla presentation for the city of Austin containing the information.
And last, a look to Giga Shanghai, where Tesla appears to consider exporting electric cars made in China to other markets in Asia and Europe as well, Bloomberg reports. Their undisclosed sources said Tesla could start mass production of the China Model 3 designated for foreign markets in the fourth quarter. Persons close to the matter also named Australia, New Zealand and Singapore as export destinations. Bloomberg further suggested, the export plans might root in domestic competition in China becoming hotter. Tesla China declined to comment.
Update 20 September 2020: Evan Horetsky, responsible for the construction of the German Gigafactory at Tesla, has confirmed further details on the above mentioned Giga Presses. The special machines are to help cast parts of the Model Y in one piece. Horetsky now confirmed that not only the rear frame of the Model Y is to be cast in one piece, but also the front frame. However, Tesla won’t cast the complete structure in one piece. When asked by Teslamag why the company was installing eight machines in Grünheide, Horetsky said that Tesla wants to be able to cast many parts there very quickly.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.
tesmanian.com (Steinbach), teslarati.com (objections), teslamag.de (Horetzky, in German), teslarati.com (casting machines), electrek.co (Giga Texas completion), yahoo.com (Giga Shanghai), teslarati.com, teslamag.de (update 20 September)
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