Grünheide: Tesla submits application for plant expansion

Tesla has submitted the first application for the expansion of its plant in Grünheide in Brandenburg, Germany, to the State Office for the Environment. According to Tesla, it primarily concerns changes to the existing plant to further ramp up production.

Tesla confirmed this to the German press. It is the first application for a partial permit – but it is not the last. According to a spokesperson at the State Office, Tesla wants to expand production capacity from the current 500,000 to one million vehicles per year. Figures that were already previously leaked. Tesla would build the production facilities required on the existing plant site.

In addition, the carmaker says it has “optimised planning and production processes in such a way that the previously used and contractually agreed quantities of fresh water are also sufficient for this expansion”. Instead of fresh water, Tesla wants to treat and reuse wastewater generated during production. In other words, the manufacturer estimates that it can guarantee a doubling of production capacity with the same water consumption. Other applications for partial permits, such as for new buildings, will follow.

The application for the plant expansion comes as no surprise. In November 2022, it was clear from the 2023 budget that Tesla intended to “submit the application for the expansion of its factory in Grünheide before the end of this year” – associated with an increase in capacity from 500,000 to over one million electric cars per year.

We already reported at the end of October on Tesla’s plans to generally increase the production capacity of its vehicle plant in Grünheide. According to a report in the Märkische Oderzeitung at the time, the expansion involves 70 hectares north of the site. While the current development plan still covered the clearing, Tesla would have to reapply for the expansion of the factory itself.

The expansion plans are thriving at a time when Tesla is still in the ramp-up phase of the first factory section. According to German news agency dpa, Tesla currently produces 4,000 cars a week – or about 200,000 a year. The workforce comprises about 10,000 employees and should to reach 12,000 in the first expansion phase.

Incidentally, these expansion plans are not the same as the ones announced in September 2022 for a new logistics centre, including a freight station. It will be built outside the existing site on about 100 hectares of land to the east. Tesla initiated the latter expansion process in May 2022. At that time, Tesla applied to initiate a development plan procedure for precisely those 100 hectares.

rbb24.de, faz.net (both in German)

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