I n Germany-producing car manufacturers have so far struggled with this own battery cell production for electric car batteries. Tesla boss Elon Musk is now causing speculation with new information on the subject. At a press conference on Tesla's earnings situation, he announced that there would be 'local cell production' for the Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg. What exactly is meant by this is not yet clear.
Local can be a lot
Musk left it open what he meant by the term 'local'. The cells could come from anywhere in Europe or actually from Germany. Tesla fans can already see cell production in the Gigafactory in Grünheide. In Tesla's first building applications there was something about battery module production, which means the construction of modules from cells. But even this module production has now disappeared from the updated building applications. On the other hand, these application details are only used for rough planning - the establishment of your own cell production is far from ruled out. A delivery of cells from production facilities in other federal states is much more likely.
Deutsche Gigafactory creates new jobs
Please work at Tesla Giga Berlin! It will be great fun !! https://t.co/FcNoPr2oII- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 10, 2020
In addition to batteries and drive trains, the new Model Y and Model 3 will also be built in the German Gigafactory from 2021. According to the dpa, the plant, which has been being built in several stages since the first quarter of 2020, could cost up to four billion euros. Tesla has already submitted an application for government funding. According to 'Bild am Sonntag', subsidies of around 300 million euros could flow - provided the EU approves this. As the state government of Brandenburg announced, 3,000 jobs are to be created in a first step. 'In perspective, the Tesla factory in Grünheide could - depending on the market ramp-up - have up to 40,000 employees,' said Brandenburg Minister of Economics Jörg Steinbach (SPD) in an interview with the 'Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung'.
In addition to the Gigafactory Musk is also planning a 'Brain' design and development center in Berlin. The first plots are already being sought. The electric car pioneer justified the choice of location for the location in the Oder-Spree district with the 'exceptional quality of German engineering' and was carried away with a little swipe at the delayed construction of the capital's airport: 'We will definitely have to set a faster pace than the airport '.
Possible deliveries from Germany
After a long period of hesitation, VW decided to set up its own cell production facility in Salzgitter, Lower Saxony - in cooperation with the Swedish manufacturer Northvolt. Daimler and BMW prefer to buy and rely on long-term supply contracts. To this end, Daimler has entered into a partnership with the Chinese manufacturer Farasis - Farasis is building a battery factory in the Saxony-Anhalt chemical region of Bitterfeld-Wolfen. BMW would like to purchase its batteries from the Chinese manufacturer CATL, which is building a plant in Arnstadt, Thuringia. It is quite possible that the Tesla plant in Brandenburg will also obtain its battery cells from these providers.
More expensive and more stable supply chain
The disadvantage of having its own battery cell productionwould be significantly higher costs, the advantage would be a much more robust supply chain including independence from Asian suppliers. This is exactly what politicians have been demanding for a long time.
Construction work in Grünheide is progressing rapidly despite Corona
In mid-July, Elon Musk posted an animation of the fourth Gigafactory. Solar cells but no chimneys can be seen in the cleanly designed halls in bright white. When asked by the post office how that could be, Musk himself answered with 'well hidden. In front of the factory halls there are semi-trucks, some of which are moving on the access road to the factory. Many of the now famous pine trees are around the site. The proportions are exciting: if you look closely, you can easily see the comparatively tiny people who are scattered around the factory. The Gigafactory is going to be huge!
Clearing completed in no time
In reality Many of you lay neatly delimbed and sawn into segments in stacks to the right and left of the street: The cut pines from GDR raw wood plantation. Tesla has long since cleared its new company premises on the outskirts of Berlin, the objections of two environmental associations the clearing could only slow down the project for a few days - then the wood harvesters were of the type Ponsse Scorpion King back in action. Then construction teams removed the tree stumps and leveled the ground.
Notarial certification done
When Tesla announced the construction of a gigafactory in Grünheide, Brandenburg in November 2019, people with concerns were quickly on the spot: For example forest has to give way and water consumption is too high. Tesla did not let that stop them and has now bought the property on the outskirts of Berlin. The notarial certification of the purchase contract has also already taken place.
The price for the 304-hectare area that Tesla bought in the state of Brandenburg is said to be 41 million euros - according to a template for the Brandenburg state parliament -Budget Committee. The state forest office has determined the amount. This is the equivalent of 13.50 euros per square meter. This is comparatively cheap: in the adjacent Freienbrink industrial park, the square meter costs 40 euros.
The US bombs found on the Tesla site so far Duds from World War II have now been blown up by specialists from the ordnance disposal service. Ammunition finds from the Second World War are part of everyday life in Brandenburg - in the state just outside Berlin, the fighting raged most violently shortly before the end of the Second World War. In 2018 alone, the ordnance disposal service, construction crews and walkers found 326 tons of World War II ammunition. The systematicSearch by the ordnance disposal service is far from over in the federal state with the highest proportion of explosive ordnance-contaminated areas - there are probably still tons of bombs in the Brandenburg sand. According to the Brandenburg fire brigade, if the ground temperatures reach more than 50 degrees in summer, spontaneous combustion of, for example, phosphorus bombs cannot be ruled out.
Alleged forest is not at all
50 to 100 concerned citizens should be Participated in the demonstrations against the Tesla plant in Grünheide, Brandenburg. The demonstrators fear, among other things, an irresponsible handling of the tree population growing on the planned factory premises. In order to dispel the concerns of the citizens through education, Tesla had opened an information office on site. The offer of advice lasted until February 4, 2020.
The citizens had questions about the clearing. For the first buildings on the Tesla factory site, 90 hectares of trees had to give way - after all, the main building alone is 744 meters long and 312 meters wide. According to the Brandenburg Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Climate Protection, Axel Vogel, the trees there do not count as forest - the property is a commercial area covered with trees. Even if Tesla should back down after the clearing, no reforestation is planned: The industrial park should remain an industrial park.
Value of the tree population controversial
The ecological value of the trees is also controversial. Brandenburg's tree population used to be composed primarily of oak and beech. These trees served as construction and firewood for the growing cities, fired glassworks, charcoal burners and lime kilns, and also served for pyrolysis of tar. In the 18th century, for example, the Brandenburg Forest largely disappeared. The remaining clods of sand were only sufficient for the undemanding pine that forestry raised as a replacement for plantations. After the Second World War, the pines were used as firewood; some of the wood was sent to the former Soviet Union as war reparations. The GDR planted pines again on the Brandenburg sandy soil - for so-called raw wood extraction. In the densely wooded Brandenburg, 70 percent of the forest population is pine - the national average is 22 percent. Now oaks and beeches are expected to return to Brandenburg, the days of the 40 to 60 year old GDR pine stands seem to be numbered. Experts believe it is unlikely that the trees on the industrial park will serve as winter quarters for bats - an investigation would provide information here.
Batteries yes, cells no for the time being
From the ones in the Grünheide town hall Visible Tesla documents show that the Americans are not planning to start operating the plantprovide. The cells come from previously unknown suppliers, and the batteries are then assembled in the factory. The background could be that Tesla wants to pull the plant up within a year, but it takes longer to establish a complex cell production. For a later date, Tesla is not ruling out cell production in Grünheide - especially since the EU is currently supporting such production with a lot of taxpayer money.
Lots of traffic in Grünheide and the surrounding area
Should that 'Gigafactory Berlin' will start production in 2021, traffic south-east of Berlin is likely to increase massively. The Tesla records show that 463 trucks deliver supplies every day. Six car trains transport the Teslas produced every day. The Americans expect 2,828 employees to come to work by car - because of the three-shift system three times a day.
Two models and half a million cars
The Tesla in its new Brandenburg plant wants to build the two models Model 3 and Model Y, the electric car manufacturer has now confirmed in an announcement in the Brandenburg Official Gazette. In addition, Tesla is planning to build half a million vehicles a year - this corresponds to the planned output of the recently completed Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai. The start of production in Grünheide is planned for July 2021.
Battery production, a press shop, a foundry, a body shop, a paint shop, seat production and plastics processing are to work in the factory. In addition, 4 drives are produced in the Gigafactory, the final assembly of the vehicles also takes place on site. There is also a central supply building and a wastewater treatment plant.
On its website, Tesla describes the factory as 'Gigafactory Berlin' - the community of Grünheide is just three kilometers from the capital as the crow flies. With the help of its website, the American electric car manufacturer is already looking for 30 skilled workers for its new German plant.
Triumphed over three competitors
The location in Grünheide in Brandenburg (southeast of Berlin) was already together with Emden, Dörpen in Emsland as well as a location on the border with the Benelux countries are shortlisted. There should also be a BMW factory one day.
The model: the Gigafactory in Shanghai
The Gigafactory 4 is likely to have similar dimensions as the plant in Shanghai, which is within was built one year ago. Initially 150,000 and later 500,000 vehicles roll off the assembly line here. The negotiations about the construction of the factory in Brandenburg were only sealed in writing at short notice: on Tuesday at a meeting between Musk and Jörg Steinbach. Annual production of up to 500,000 electric cars is also targeted at the German location. The entire complex should take up an area of 420 football fields, or 865,650 square meters, as an article in 'Bild' shows.
Dr. Jan Burgard, managing partner at Berylls Strategy Advisors: 'Elon Musk has once again surprised everyone: While the German auto industry is stocking us up with reports on austerity measures, Musk is announcing massive investments in Germany. The white knight of e-mobility is entering the battlefield of the Germans, so to speak OEM to face them in front of their own castle gate. This fearlessness deserves respect, even if I wonder where the money for Factory comes from. The choice of location near Berlin makes perfect sense from my point of view, because of course the capital is in many different ways Attractive, also because of the start-up mentality, which is more pronounced there than anywhere else in Germany. '