As U.S. automaker Tesla continues to ramp up production in Germany at its new Brandenburg Gigafactory, the company is already looking to make expansions to the plant. Within the past few weeks, the company has been prepping an application for expansion and is beginning to clear local pine forests for the project.
Tesla started clearing forests around its gigafactory in Grünheide, Germany, over the past few weeks, as reported by Bloomberg. This stage of deforestation will remove pine trees over about 173 acres (70 hectares) of currently forested area, and Tesla says it has already begun taking the necessary steps for species and forest protective measures.
A Tesla spokesperson said that the expansion will increase storage and logistics space at Gigafactory Berlin, and it’s currently working on an application for the addition. Brandenburg Economy Minister Jörg Steinbach responded positively to the news, emphasizing the benefit Tesla’s plant has offered to the German state by being its largest industrial employer.
“I am pleased that Tesla will proceed,” said Steinbach in the tweet. “This is a good sign: Tesla is focusing on Brandenburg. Our country is developing into a place of modern mobility. As already the largest industrial employer and trainer in Brandenburg, Tesla has played a decisive role in this.”
Tesla said in the past it hopes to create a freight station, stockpile, and warehouse to boost rail links and part storage. In past reports, the automaker expressed interest in expansion plans of up to 247 hectares (100 hectares), though it’s unclear how long the plans could take.
In the past, Tesla struggled with local regulatory authorities and environmental groups in Germany during factory construction. Tesla even called delays “irritating.” So, expansion of the project may come as a relief and encouragement to some onlookers.
The automaker has been gradually ramping up production at Giga Berlin since it debuted its first production vehicles in March. Over the summer, the factory reached 1,000 Model Y units produced per week, and it’s aiming to reach 5,000 cars in a week by Q1 2023.
The news also comes just a few weeks after the Tesla Model Y surpassed the Volkswagen Golf to become Germany’s top-selling vehicle in September. Tesla had 9,846 registrations of the Model Y in September, ahead of the German company’s VW Golf with just 7,095 registrations, according to the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) (via German outlet Heise).
With Tesla’s continued growth in Germany, it’s only fitting that the automaker would get ahead of addition plans to the factory. And with increased production already on the horizon amidst increasing competition for electric vehicles, the automaker could be in a good position to take on the rest of the German auto market.
Originally published by EVANNEX. By Peter McGuthrie
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