The start of production at Giga Berlin, Tesla’s plant in Grünheide near Berlin, has reportedly been delayed by six months. According to a report in German media, Tesla boss Elon Musk has officially given the team half a years more time, meaning that full production is unlikely to start before January 2022.
The German publication Automobilwoche reported on Tesla’s decision referring to company circles. The delay has two causes: firstly, the still missing final building permit for the plant; and secondly, the start of series production originally planned for July 2021 is also delayed due to problems with the production of the structural battery pack. Insiders are said to have reported that there will be no battery produced at Giga Berlin by the end of the year.
A few days ago, Brandenburg’s Ministry of the Environment revealed that Tesla wants to amend the permit application for the Giga Berlin plant to add battery cell production. This would entail a re-interpretation of the plans, which is a process that can take up to three months.
Although Tesla has persistently stuck to the start date of July 2021 since the location was revealed, the Californian company has not yet officially communicated a new date; a later start of production is certain. In its most recent quarterly report, Tesla still gave the starting date as being “end of 2021”.
What remains to be seen is whether all Model Ys built in Brandenburg will have the structural battery packs with the 4680 cells. With the Model S Refresh presented in January, only the top model Plaid+ with three motors will have the 4680 cells and the new packs for the time being. The Maximum Range and Plaid versions continue to rely on 18650 cells (but with new cell chemistry). The Model Y from Giga Berlin could also use 2170 cells in the Long Range version. Thus Tesla would not make vehicle production in Giga Berlin completely dependent on the production of battery cells.
Especially since the insiders giving information to Automobilwoche also confirm the obvious progress in body construction, press shop and paint shop. This means that vehicle construction could start soon – at least as soon as the final environmental approval for the plant has been obtained.
automobilwoche.de (in German)