View of the road sign "Tesla Straße 1" in front of the construction site of the Tesla factory. (picture alliance / dpa)
The US-based electric car manufacturer Tesla is planning to produce batteries with new technology at its first factory in Europe. The plant, located at Grünheide near Berlin, will produce larger and more powerful cells than usual, sources close to the company said on Wednesday. This was already a topic at Tesla's "Battery Day" in Fremont (USA) in September. Efficient and low-cost batteries are considered a prerequisite for electromobility to become established on the mass market. At the "Battery Day," Tesla CEO Elon Musk spoke about innovations in battery technology, but had previously dampened hopes of an immediate breakthrough on Twitter.
A year ago (on November 12), the Tesla boss had announced in Berlin that the company’s European factory would be built near the German capital. The construction in Grünheide is now progressing rapidly. However, so far Tesla is only building with provisional approvals, because the final environmental approval of the State Environmental Agency in Brandenburg, the state that surrounds Berlin, is still pending.
The car manufacturer is sticking to its schedule. Tesla plans to produce electric cars in Grünheide from July 2021. In a first stage, the plan is for 500,000 vehicles per year to be produced by around 12,000 employees. Conservationists and local residents have criticized the project and voiced fears about problems with drinking water, among other things.
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