Tesla’s relatively new German factory, Giga Berlin, has been producing Model Y crossovers for a time, and it’s in the midst of a substantial ramp-up. Earlier on, Tesla announced that the factory would also produce batteries, though plans changed. Now, it appears battery production is underway, though the specifics aren’t consistent with the automaker’s early intentions.
Tesla planned to produce batteries at the factory near Berlin, but has faced several setbacks in Germany ever since it started working on the factory. Last year, the US EV maker reportedly decided to table its Giga Berlin battery plans in favor of similar plans at its other, newer factory, Giga Texas, in Austin, Texas. The newly revamped US EV tax credit will have very specific rules about battery and materials sourcing, so domestic progress should prove more helpful to Tesla, at least for now.
According to Teslarati, Brandenburg Economics Minister Jörg Steinbach announced during a speech this week at the state parliament that the battery facility at Giga Berlin is officially in operation. However, Steinbach did make it clear that the German plant is only currently producing individual battery components, which seems to be a downgrade from its original intentions.
Regardless of the current situation, Steinbach said that the Giga Berlin battery facility is buzzing with activity. He reiterated that the full EV battery production process isn’t happening at the German factory, but notable progress has been made, and Giga Berlin still serves as the location for a critical step in the overall process. The government minister shared via Teslarati:
“The building is buzzing. It’s full… What is manufactured there as a preliminary product on the spot fully utilizes this building on the spot.”
We have no way of knowing for sure if Tesla intends to ever go back to the original plan and further expand battery production at Giga Berlin. While it may arguably make sense at some point in the future, Steinbach said Tesla hasn’t submitted any paperwork outlining such plans for the near future.
Due to pushback from environmental groups, Tesla has made relatively slow progress at Giga Berlin, though it has been shared that the US automaker’s progress has still proceeded much more quickly than that of many other companies in the area.
It wouldn’t come as any surprise if Tesla continued to limit its battles in Germany in favor of progress in North America and China, but we’ll have to wait and see how it all plays out.