Just two months after Tesla Inc. announced it would build its next gigafactory in Germany near Berlin, the company has secured the property for the new plant for about $45 million.
The EV maker announced the European location for Gigafactory 4 will in Gruenheide, in the eastern German state of Brandenburg, which is near Berlin. Approval for the purchase 300-hectare property has already been approved by German authorities.
The Tesla board just signed off on the deal, which allows for a price adjustment if an external review of the site offers up a different value for the property.
The property, which is in an industrial area, is being checked for unexploded U.S. bombs in the ground from World War II, officials noted. The new plant will create about 7,000 jobs. The plant will build vehicles for European customers.
But some 250 locals took to the streets to protest on Saturday, fearing the factory could endanger the water supply and wildlife in the surrounding forest.
According to CEO Elon Musk, the company will also open an engineering and design center in the city. Production at the plant is expected to start in July 2021, which means if the newly opened Shanghai plant is any indication, shovels will be in the ground likely during the third quarter of this year.
The company has already begun clearing the way for an access road to the site with plans calling for the rest of the sites trees to be removed by March. That’s a tight deadline, but necessary if Tesla expects to see vehicles rolling off the line in 2021.
The Shanghai plant began producing deliverable vehicles less than a year after construction began, although it isn’t up a full capacity yet.
Musk noted the Shanghai plant will become the “template” for future growth, he noted. It makes Model 3 sedans now, but “we’re planning to build Model Ys in Shanghai as well.” This kind of flexibility in its Gigafactories is likely to be important over time as the company’s global order rate continues to increase, and the backlog is growing, he noted.
The company’s Shanghai plant began delivering the first of its Model 3 sedans earlier this month. New vehicles will trickle out of the facility until later in the month when production levels ramp up to 1,000 vehicles a week.