Tesla CEO and co-founder Elon Musk tweeted a design render of the new Gigafactory near Berlin, at which the electric car maker will make Model 3s and Model Ys for Europe, on Wednesday.
The entrepreneur showed a vision of the finished facility in Grünheide in Brandenburg on Twitter, accompanied only by the words “Giga Berlin.”
The picture shows a large solar-covered building and several smaller ones. A raised roof on one corner with the distinctive Tesla logo denotes the main entrance.
Giga Berlin pic.twitter.com/UXQMUVTWXf
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 15, 2020
Musk, who is well known for his sometimes off-the-cuff and eccentric Twitter messages, has previously joked that Giga Berlin would also house a “mega-rave cave”.
After tweeting the image on Wednesday, Musk answered questions about the possibility of a rave cave saying it might be “an indoor/outdoor rave space on the roof,” and when asked if it would include a “rooftop swimming pool?” said, “Sure.”
Out of Tesla’s five factories, Giga Berlin, also known as Gigafactory 4, will be the biggest so far. A maximum of 500,000 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles per year are expected to roll off the assembly line in Grünheide near Berlin from July 2021, according to the auto maker’s plans.
A comparison of the Giga Berlin against Tesla’s other factories was put together by buildingtesla.com and shared on Reddit, and it shows the massive scale of the project.
According to inside sources, as reported by German Welt magazine, the main building will include a lobby, the body shop, the press shop, the paint shop, the foundry and the final assembly. Offices are planned on the second floor. The drive production is planned in one of several outbuildings. The paint shop and drive production should, therefore, have priority during construction.
Tesla is already building at its own risk, based on early approvals, despite environmental permissions still pending.
But with the Brandenburg State Environment Agency giving Tesla the green light for further work with an early start, the Ministry of Environment announced on Tuesday in Potsdam that Tesla could get started with the foundation and structural work for what is now colloquially known as “Giga Berlin”.
This enables the company to undertake foundation work, as well as earthwork and structural work, and to build traffic areas, and parking for employees on the site.
To relieve traffic, the Brandenburg Ministry of Transport is planning to invest €100 million ($A1.63 million) in rails and roads from the state’s future fund, which was raised by credit.
Although final environmental approval for the factory from Brandenburg is still pending, Tesla has already cleared 90 hectares of pine forest on the 300 hectare site and leveled the ground for the construction site.
Part of the plant – press shop and foundry – is to be built on piles, for which Tesla is planning an application. However with concern about negative effects on groundwater, among other things, over 370 objections have been received against the project, and more are possible after a modified application for approval reports German news site Mittelhessen.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.