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Tesla gets approval to open European assembly plant

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Tesla gets approval to open European assembly plant

BERLIN — German authorities on Friday gave Tesla final approval to begin production of electric vehicles and battery cells at its first major assembly plant in Europe, after months of delays and disputes, producing its models for the electric car company. paved the way to start. Y sport utility vehicle.

Tesla posted record-breaking sales in 2021, a year when it became the industry’s first trillion-dollar automaker. The new plant, just outside Berlin in the state of Brandenburg, is expected to increase the company’s earnings in Europe, where its cars are already top sellers among electric vehicles. The arrival of the US giant has put Germany’s traditional automakers on notice whether they should up their game or lose out to a company that is seen as a tech giant rather than a competitor.

Tesla has said it plans to produce 500,000 vehicles at the new facility, known as the Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg. To an extent it took more than two years for construction to begin production – a record time for a major factory in Germany, but slower than expected for the company’s chief executive, Elon Musk.

“It was a colossal undertaking,” said Brandenburg Governor Dietmar Vodke, announcing that the 537-page administrative notice was handed over to Tesla representatives on Friday.

The announcement on Friday came as a judge in Frankfurt was considering a trial challenging the opening of the plant over water issues. Local officials have said the lawsuit, filed by environmental activists, will not derail the plant’s opening.

Mr Musk announced he would build the plant – a site where, in the days of communist East Germany, soldiers were trained to push back NATO – at an awards ceremony in Berlin in November 2019. Local officials are eager to court Silicon Valley. Entrepreneurs arrived via building permits in just a few weeks, instead of the typical timeline that runs in months.

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But Tesla announced last April that it wanted to add an on-site battery production facility, a move that required additional paperwork, after production began to dwindle. Brandenburg officials said they received the final documents from Tesla before the end of last year.

This is a developing news. Check back for updates.

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