Thousands of people gathered outside Berlin on Saturday to hear Elon Musk announce that by December thousands of new Model Y cars will be in production at the new Tesla factory.
“We’re aiming to start production in a few months, basically, November or December, and hopefully deliver our first cars in December,” said Musk at the event to the applause of thousands of fans. “But starting production is kind of the easy part. The hard part is reaching volume production.”
Volume production amounts to 5,000 or “hopefully 10,000” vehicles per week, said Musk. The factory is expected to manufacture Model Y vehicles, in addition to millions of battery cells. Tesla submitted plans to invest around $5.8 billion in a battery plant with 50 GWh capacity next to the 300-hectare site, and Musk promised volume production of battery cells by the end of the year.
Construction on the Tesla gigafactory in Berlin-Brandenburg, which was granted two years ago by authorities under an exceptional procedure, is nearly complete, despite opposition from locals who are holding up final approval for the plant due to environmental concerns.
Last year, work at the site was temporarily suspended when NGOs requested an injunction to protect nearby natural habitat of certain endangered lizards and snakes.
Musk defended the factory against critics of its environmental impact, saying that it used “relatively little” water and that battery cell production was “sustainable”. He also threw a festival to warm the locals to the idea of the factory and ameliorate their hostility to the project.
The company offered 9,000 tickets to the festival, with residents of Brandenburg state given priority.
Party at #GigaBerlin pic.twitter.com/ZvqARpueOp
— Tobias Lindh (@tobilindh) October 9, 2021
Elon Musk announced Tesla HQ will move to Texas
On Friday, Elon Musk, who is is the longest tenured CEO of any automotive manufacturer globally, announced at Tesla’s 2021 shareholder meeting that Tesla will officially move it headquarters to Austin, Texas.
Tesla joins a number of Silicon Valley tech firms, including Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Oracle, that are shifting their main bases to Texas, enticed by the state’s low tax rates and business-friendly policies. Musk did not specify when the move would occur or where in Austin the new headquarters would be, although it is safe to assume that it will be based near the Gigafactory site that is set to be the main factory for the upcoming Cybertruck and Tesla Semi.
This official announcement was not the first time Musk had suggested a move to Texas. During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the CEO threatened to leave California after the state’s strict pandemic restrictions made it difficult to restart production. Tesla then began contraction on the Austin Gigafactory, and soon afterward Musk himself moved to the Lone Star State.
Elon Musk’s Tesla has stunned pundits by selling 241,300 electric cars in the US — a total of 102,000 more vehicles than the same quarter last year.
It’s the most Tesla has ever sold in a quarter. The company sold 367,500 in all of 2019. Despite the wider trend of declining sales brought on by the global chip shortage, Tesla managed to deliver more vehicles once again despite the fact that major automakers saw huge drops this past quarter.