The CEO of Tesla announced in August that production would start in Germany on the Model Y in October, pending approval from regulators. It was already said to be around six months behind schedule. At the same time, Tesla started taking registrations for “Giga Fest,” described as a “county fair” to celebrate the launch of Gigafactory Berlin.
Today, Giga Berlin will hold that grand opening for local residents and general public.
But Mr Musk may have to show off some imported vehicles, as reports in Germany state he has still not received final approval to start approval.
Some are saying work may not even start until the end of the year.
The plant has been under construction since late May 2020, but the manufacturer had only “early approvals,” which means that it could proceed at its own risk without the guarantee of the final approval.
A high number of objectives, including environmental issues, significantly slowed down the bureaucratic analysis of the investment.
It has been held up by legal challenges from environmental groups, delays in the approval process by regional and national agencies, and the carmaker’s own revisions to the plan.
Tesla must also find new homes for the site’s current residents – a species of lizard, and the kind of snake that likes to eat it.
In August, Mr Musk is said to have grilled both state leaders and executives of the company building the factory.
Mr Musk is said to have chosen Germany for the company’s third major assembly plant because he wanted to tap the expertise in engineering and manufacturing that has allowed Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW to dominate the global market for luxury passenger cars.
By comparison, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has told Express.co.uk the Government is “committed” to helping electric vehicle companies flourish.
A spokeswoman told Express.co.uk: “As highlighted by the recent announcement of the new Envision AESC gigafactory in Sunderland, we are committed to ensuring the UK continues to be one of the best locations in the world for automotive manufacturing.
“We will do so through a major £1billion investment programme to electrify our supply chain, create jobs and secure a competitive future for the sector.”
It comes after Mr Musk snubbed Brexit Britain.
He told trade magazine Auto Express in 2019 that uncertainty over the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU “made it too risky” to establish its European battery facility in the country.
He added that his decision was influenced by Germany’s strong track record on engineering.
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Despite this, the tech mogul is reportedly on the hunt for a fourth gigafactory site.
In Russia, local media have reported that Mr Musk has decided to build Tesla’s next factory in Korolev, but he denied the claims on Twitter.
He wrote: “Tesla has not yet decided on a fourth Gigafactory location.”
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng believes the UK is in the mix.
In what would be a major coup for Britain, Mr Kwarteng previously told Express.co.uk: “Elon Musk is interested [in the UK] and the reason why is it is a fantastic place to invest in that technology.
“He wants to invest in gigafactories to be a part of that green revolution.
“I would welcome him to return to the UK.
“I think, frankly, since we formally left the EU, we have seen that this country is more than capable than standing on its own two feet and being a world-leader.”
“It’s a fantastic opportunity and it’s very exciting.”