GRUENHEIDE, Germany – Tesla on Tuesday sought to assuage Brandenburg state residents’ issues by holding a question-and-answer session on the EV maker’s deliberate growth that will make its native plant the most important automotive manufacturing facility within the nation.
Tesla, which at the moment produces round 5,000 vehicles per week, hopes to double the plant’s manufacturing capability to 1 million automobiles a 12 months and add 50 gigawatt hours of battery manufacturing capability, although it has not offered a timeline.
Ramping up output at its first European manufacturing hub is essential to Tesla’s objective of vanquishing market chief Volkswagen , whose largest plant in Wolfsburg has capability for 800,000 automobiles however final 12 months produced solely round 400,000.
Whereas Volkswagen nonetheless holds the very best EV market share within the area, Tesla is making its mark. Its Mannequin Y was the best-selling automotive in Europe within the first quarter of the 12 months.
Tesla employees answered queries from locals on points from water use and biodiversity safety to the environmental influence evaluation for the growth, in an try to deal with issues that might maintain up its utility to native authorities.
The first section of the plant’s development was delayed because of the excessive variety of objections from native residents, principally associated to environmental issues.
Tesla has lengthy argued that the plant’s influence is comparatively low and referred to the advantages of EVs in combating local weather change.
The carmaker is because of publish the complete utility for the growth on Wednesday, and residents have till mid-September to file objections.
Tesla on Tuesday mentioned the deliberate growth covers a brand new 700-by-700-metre manufacturing area, round double the dimensions of its present manufacturing corridor, and will entail growing its employees to 22,500, from round 10,000 now.
The attendees’ important concern at Tuesday’s occasion was how the carmaker will handle to broaden the plant with out utilizing extra water, which Tesla has mentioned it is going to obtain by recycling the 1.4 million cubic metres of water it’s licensed to make use of.
“I hold my animals right here for looking and never even they get sufficient water. We simply haven’t got sufficient,” Emily, a 23-year-old attendee, advised Reuters in the course of the assembly.
Nonetheless, others have been extra optimistic.
“Water is not a Tesla downside – it is a common downside,” mentioned 68-year-old native resident Matthias Handschick. “If the recycling works, that is good – we want these options.”
Reporting by Victoria Waldersee, Nette Noestlinger and Leon Malherbe in Gruenheide, Germany Writing by Christoph Steitz Modifying by Louise Heavens and Matthew Lewis