Tesla is beginning to deliver the first Model Y Performance cars produced at the Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg today. This is also the opening of the company’s first production site in Europe and its “most advanced, sustainable and efficient factory” to date.
In one of the company’s rare announcements, Tesla does not spare superlatives. The factory on the 300-hectare site has the “most advanced paint shop in the world, enabling unparalleled colour complexity and depth”. However, Tesla is still feeling its way towards the full potential of the paint facility: initially, only black and white Model Y Performance will be delivered, with other colours to follow in the coming months.
With the delivery of the first 30 customer vehicles, the performance version of the Model Y will also celebrate its German and European premiere. Tesla is known to be reticent about exact performance figures, but the Performance model has a top speed of 250 km/h (instead of 217 km/h) and can accelerate to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds (instead of 5.0 seconds). The Model Y Performance also features a lowered suspension, performance brakes, 21-inch wheels in “Übertrubine” design, aluminium pedals and a carbon fibre spoiler.
So far, only long-range models have been imported from China, although Giga Shanghai also produces the Model Y Performance for the Chinese market. According to Tesla, Giga Berlin-Brandenburg will ” produce cars for all European Tesla markets”. Tesla does not mention in the announcement whether and when other Model Y variants will be produced in Grünheide in addition to the Performance.
On the other hand, the company gives an interim status of the current expansion of the factory: currently, according to Tesla, more than 3,000 employees are working there, and in the coming months “thousands more employees” are to be hired – from production to business operations, the supply chain, plant construction to engineering or cell production.
At full capacity, up to 12,000 people will be employed in Grünheide and will then not only build up to 500,000 Model Ys per year, but also up to 50 GWh of battery cells. According to Tesla, the Gigafactory will be Europe’s “first production site for electric vehicles and batteries in the same place”. Tesla does not provide any current information on when battery cell production will start in Grünheide and when the final expansion of vehicle production will be achieved.
The company also addressed the factory’s long-disputed water consumption. Around 2.2 cubic metres of water are needed per car in Grünheide, which is less than the industry average, which Tesla puts at 3.7 cubic metres. In addition, the paint shop requires “significantly less solvent”. The planned energy consumption per battery cell produced is reduced by 70 per cent, however, no basis for comparison is given here. Tesla is using the knowledge gained during the construction of the Gigafactories in Reno and Shanghai “to further reduce the ecological footprint in production operations”.
While a lot of celebrities have announced their attendance at the official opening ceremony, the criticism of the factory has not died down. It is true that the factory’s water needs will be met on the basis of acquiescence by the state after a court ruling on the day of the final approval in early March, which the Strausberg-Erkner water board agreed on with the state government. However, environmentalists are considering an appeal, such as the Green League, which also obtained the court order.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.
Source: Info via email
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