Tesla moves to launch cell production in Grünheide by 2022
Tesla wants to submit the application for approval for the production of battery cells in Grünheide to German authorities by July of this year at the latest. According to the corresponding media report, the production start for the cells in Grünheide is targeted for 2022.
This is what the Handelsblatt has learned “from well-informed industry circles”. Details of the possible application, such as the area calculated by Tesla for battery cell production, do not emerge from the report. However, “thanks to numerous innovations”, the required space is said to be “significantly smaller than for previous ‘gigafactories'”, according to the German business newspaper.
This is hardly surprising, as Elon Musk had announced at ‘Battery Day’ in September 2020 that not only a smaller investment but also a smaller area would suffice in the production of the new 4680 cells.
In addition to Grünheide, Tesla’s own production of the 4680 cells is also to be set up in Giga Texas in Austin, but according to the Handelsblatt report, the authorities in Texas have not yet received an application for the cell production. Tesla will probably use the new battery format for some of its new models. The best contender is the Model Y built in Grünheide for Europe (at least in some versions), but also could find use in the Model S Plaid+, the Cybertruck or the electric truck Semi.
A new manager is now responsible for the latter. According to a notification to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Jerome Guillen is now the head of the new Tesla Heavy Trucking division. Guillen has been considered a confidant of Elon Musk for years and was most recently head of the automotive division since 2018. The background to this is the upcoming market launch of the Tesla Semi electric truck, of which the first units are to be delivered this year.
In his previous role as president of automotive, Guillen was responsible for vehicle programmes, supply chain and service network. “As Tesla prepares to enter the critical heavy-duty truck market for the first time, Mr. Guillen will now use his extensive background in this industry to focus on and lead all aspects of the Tesla Semi programme, including the related charging and service networks,” Tesla wrote in its SEC filing.
Signing the SEC’s ‘8-K’ form announcing Guillen’s new role as a required disclosure to the stock exchange is Chief Financial Officer Zachary Kirkhorn – in his position as chief financial officer. In another ‘8-K’ form, Elon Musk had his official designation changed to “Technoking of Tesla” and that of CFO Kirkhorn to “Tesla’s Master of Coin”.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.
handelsblatt.com (factory in Grünheide), teslarati.com, sec.gov (both Guillen)