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As part of Tesla's expansion efforts, the Gruenheide facility is projected to produce up to 500,000 cars a year when it reaches full capacity.

23 Mar 2022 | International News : Germany

After a mere two years in development, Tesla's first-ever gigafactory in Germany is officially up and running, with 30 Model Ys rolling off the production line towards their excited owners on 22 March 2022. As per reporting by Reuters, Elon Musk himself, as well as German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, were among the esteemed guests at the celebrations commemorating the milestone. 

The new facility in Gruenheide - also known as Giga Berlin (Gruenheide lies about 30km southeast of the German capital) - marks the first European gigafactory opened by Tesla, as well as its fourth one overall. Its third gigafactory, Giga Shanghai, kicked into gear in December 2019. 

A Model Y was the first car to roll off the line at Giga Berlin (Credits: Unsplash/Tyler Casey)
Gigafactories differ from conventional auto assembly plants in that they also take care of the onerous task of battery production. Thanking the crowd present in German, Musk promised that Tesla would make Giga Berlin "a gemstone for the area, for Germany, for Europe, and for the world", once again professing his faith that Tesla would help mould a more sustainable future. 

In spite of the breakneck speed at which the production facility has come together, Giga Berlin has not been without delays. It was initially slated to open in July 2021, but has faced substantial pushback from local environmental groups on its road to completion. 

At full capacity, Giga Berlin should produce up to 500,000 Teslas a year
Specifically, criticism has been levelled at the damage dealt towards local forests and their flora and fauna as a result of the site's construction. Additionally, concerns have been raised about Giga Berlin's heavy water consumption over the long term. As per the 'Giga-fest' held at Gruenheide back in October last year, Tuesday's official launch was also graced by protestors. 

At full capacity, Giga Berlin will be able to produce 500,000 cars in a year, or half of Tesla's total deliveries for 2022. JPMorgan estimates that Tesla will be able to achieve this by 2025 - one year before rival Volkswagen's planned opening of a brand new two billion euro EV factory in Wolfsburg.

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