The next big roof is going up at a rapid clip at at the Tesla Berlin Gigafactory in Grünheide, Brandenberg. That makes it four!
We saw the previous roof start to go up on the body in white building at the end of August. Now a month later, the next roof is well under way, as we learn in the latest update video from Tobias Lindh (see the full video below). This 4th roof sits atop of the general assembly building, at the southern end of the main north-south factory:
The general assembly building has gone from the pillar erection stage to roofing in exactly 3 weeks, which is remarkable progress (in the below images we reverse our perspective and are looking from north to south):
Notice too that, as well as the roof, walls are starting to be fitted to the general assembly building.
Angela Weighs In
We aren’t the only ones who are following the rapid construction progress in Grünheide. This week German chancellor Angela Merkel was interviewed by RND on the 30th anniversary of German reunification. Amongst other topics, the chancellor praised both the construction progress of the gigafactory, and the correctly functioning democratic processes of the planning debates:
“… I am pleased that Brandenburg is showing with Tesla how you can enforce things in a short period of time with our laws and funding opportunities.”
“[regarding the planning consultation]… Protest and objection are part of the essence of democracy. Anyone who believed that the suburbs of Berlin were ideal for living because there would certainly never be industry settled there, of course, wonders what that means for them. That’s only natural. That there are protests is part of it, and the objections are processed. Overall, however, I see great approval.”
Angela Merkel, in interview with RND (translated).
Similarly, in a recent conversation with Bloomberg News, minister president of the Brandenburg regional government, Dietmar Woidke, has also reiterated that the planning process is functioning correctly and should not face any ultimate barriers:
“As of now, I know of no problem that would stand in the way of the construction permit… My assumption is that a legally sound permission is possible here.” Dietmar Woidke
Part of the reason for the smooth progress is that Tesla has already demonstrated a desire to be responsive to local concerns, and efforts to make the production as environmentally sensitive as possible.
Recall that all human activity necessarily has some interaction with, and often impact upon, the surrounding environment. All of life is necessarily intertwined with other life. The criterion of merit in respect of benign environmental impact is whether we humans remain vigilant to learning newer modes of activity (the net impact of EV production and use) that move the needle in a significantly positive direction relative to the status quo (the production and use of combustion vehicles).
We’ve also had clarification this week from Tesla CEO Elon Musk that future more affordable Tesla vehicles will come in at least two variants, one that be made at Giga Shanghai, and another to be made at Giga Berlin. Both will be smaller than the Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, and like previous generations of Teslas, will probably share a common platform to keep development costs efficient.
My money is still on initial pilot production at Giga Berlin being possible very early in 2021. What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments section. Check out Tobias’ latest video here: