- The milestone was reached around two and a half years after Tesla initially announced its plans to build a factory on the site.
- But Tesla and its CEO have consistently defended the factory’s impact on the environment.
- German publication previously reported that Tesla hopes to ramp up production over the first half of 2022.
Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, is inaugurating the company’s fourth Gigafactory, its first in Europe, today as reported by The Verge.
The milestone was reached around two and a half years after Tesla initially announced its plans to build a factory on the site, which is located just outside the German capital of Berlin and is officially called Giga Berlin-Brandenburg.
As part of the opening ceremony, Tesla is handing over the first production cars made at the factory to customers: 30 Model Y compact SUVs.
Reuters reports that these are the performance configuration of the vehicle, which have a range of 320 miles and sell for €63,990.
The company had originally hoped to start production at the factory in summer 2021, but a combination of the pandemic, supply chain disruptions, and environmental concerns delayed its opening.
But Tesla and its CEO have consistently defended the factory’s impact on the environment.
Ramp up production
Musk argued that the Gigafactory will use “relatively little” water and that the forest that needed to be cleared prior to its construction wasn’t natural (it had been planted to supply a cardboard factory).
Although the factory is now up and running, Musk has previously warned that ramping up production is the real challenge.
Germany publication Automobilwoche previously reported that Tesla hopes to ramp up production to around 1,000 units a week in January and that the factory could contribute a maximum of 30,000 vehicles over the first half of 2022.
Creating a European manufacturing hub will be an important logistical victory for Tesla, which currently imports European cars from its factories elsewhere in the world.
The Berlin Gigafactory follows locations in Nevada, New York, and Shanghai, China.
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Source: The Verge