The following information is categorized as rumor because it has not been confirmed by Tesla, but German newspaper Bild (subscription required) is reporting that when fully completed, the new Tesla factory in Germany, known as either Gigafactory 4 or Gigafactory Berlin, will be capable of manufacturing up to half a million vehicles a year and employ as many as 10,000 workers. That information comes from the German Press Agency, according to the Bild report.
Teslarati reports that annual production for both the existing factory in Fremont and Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai is expected to also be on the order of 500,000 cars per year for each facility, meaning until Tesla builds another factory somewhere, its global manufacturing capability will be 1.5 million vehicles.
The finished factory will cost $4.4 billion according to a report by Frankfurter Allgemeine and cover an area larger than 420 soccer fields, which can be up to 110 meters long and 73 meters wide. Bild claims to have seen the proposed building plans for the finished factory.
The factory, like the one in Shanghai, China, will be built in stages. It is unclear at this time whether Tesla has submitted plans for the entire factory to local authorities for approval or submitted only preliminary drawings for future expansion. We do know the initial stage of the factory is expected to employ 3,000 workers and begin production of the Model Y SUV sometime in early 2021. Production of the Model 3 sedan is expected to begin sometime later, perhaps after the second phase of the factory is completed.
The decision to build its newest factory in Germany came as a surprise to some. In an interview with Auto Express in November, Elon Musk said, “Brexit [uncertainty] made it too risky to put a Gigafactory in the UK,” something British voters might want to keep in mind as they head to the polls this week. Musk hinted in 2014 that he was considering a design and tech center in the UK, but those plans have also been shelved. That facility will now be built in Berlin.