Tesla wants to increase its production capacities in Grünheide and has begun preparing the next expansion stage. Since Friday, 70 hectares of pine forest have been cleared for the expansion. Reportedly, permission for the clearing has already been granted. Tesla is preparing an application for the expansion itself.
According to a report in the German publication Märkische Oderzeitung, the expansion involves 70 hectares in the north of the property. The newspaper refers to information provided by Tesla to the Grünheide municipality. In the meantime, the Brandenburg state government has also confirmed the expansion of the plant. Brandenburg’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Jörg Steinbach, said on Twitter that he was pleased that “Tesla is moving forward”.
According to the newspaper report, the clearing is still covered by the current development plan, but not the expansion of the factory itself. Tesla will have to apply for a new permit. The new hall will then have to be approved again according to the German Federal Immission Control Act. In other words, there will again be public participation and, similarly to how Tesla proceeded with the previous factory construction, there will most likely be a series of applications for preliminary permits in order to be able to start promptly.
According to local media, Tesla is currently preparing the application for overall approval of the new construction phase. How high the production capacity will be thanks to this expansion is not clear from these and other media reports on the subject. The news agency dpa at least provides an official reaction from Minister President Dietmar Woidke and Minister of Economic Affairs Jörg Steinbach (both SPD): “With the announcement of the next expansion stage of the car factory, Tesla is clearly committed to Brandenburg as a location. Brandenburg is increasingly developing into a weighty location for the modern automotive industry in Germany, and Tesla, as Brandenburg’s largest industrial employer and trainer by now, has a decisive share in this.”
The expansion plans become known at a time when Tesla is still in the ramp-up phase of the first factory section. As of the end of September, 2,000 vehicles a week are coming off the production line in Grünheide. According to information from dpa, this figure is to rise to 5,000 cars per week by the first quarter of 2023. Tesla’s officially communicated goal is to produce 500,000 vehicles per year in the German factory.
Incidentally, the expansion plans should not be confused with an extension announced in September for a new logistics centre including a goods station. This is to be built to the east of the existing site on a good 100 hectares of land. Tesla initiated the latter expansion process in May 2022. At that time, an application was submitted to initiate a development plan process for the 100 hectares.
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