Tesla planed Gigafactory near Berlin “Giga Berlin” proposed by CEO Elon Musk two months ago electrifies Brandenburg. The US automaker is to receive comprehensive subsidies from the state government. The Minister of Economic Affairs of Brandenburg, however, has now warned that the agreement is nearing its limits, and the project may still fail.
Brandenburg is the right city for a big project like the Giga Berlin. The region, on the one hand, one of Germany’s economically poorer regions, and can not boast of being home to big corporations. On the other hand, Germany can prove it is doing the right thing after the debacle at BER Airport.
Hence the state government is working intensively with Tesla. “The first stage of expansion for Brandenburg is the largest industrial settlement since the turnaround,” economics minister Jörg Steinbach of Brandenburg said in an interview with the “Handelsblatt” Steinbach has warned at the same time that the project might collapse. The environmental standards are important above all, he added.
“It is a real challenge for us to work with Tesla,” Steinbach told the newspaper. Not only does the minister mean this negatively: “There’s this out of box thinking, it’s very nice, it’s very innovative and creative.” That also conflicts with regulations and deadlines, according to Steinbach. “Which means Tesla hits the limits of our versatility,” the politician says.
According to Steinbach, for example details of the approval process “can not be arbitrarily modified just because Tesla suddenly comes up with a new idea.” Therefore, Tesla must stick to the concept for first approval, Steinbach said.
Tesla’s drive for speed has also been an obstacle, the minister says. Tesla constantly stresses that everything must go as quickly as in Shanghai. There, cars rolled off the assembly line less than a year after construction had begun. “It’s not equivalent to us. We live and work in another social system here,” Steinbach said.
Steinbach remains cautiously optimistic
The environmental sustainability of the plant is, in effect, up to Tesla, the minister said. The first residents’ initiatives had already expressed concerns and shown on site. “The ball is in Tesla field only. The approval application documents must demonstrate in a convincing way that all substantive environmental requirements are met. Otherwise the project will not be approved, ”Steinbach told the newspaper.