Elon Musk has opened Tesla’s first car factory in Europe, describing the launch of the $5.5 billion facility in Germany as another “step in the direction of a sustainable future.”
At a glitzy event at the new Giga Berlin plant on Tuesday, the Tesla chief presented 30 customers with the first all-electric Model Y vehicles to roll off the production line.
Musk even found a moment to bust some moves, reminding many of the celebratory dance that he performed at the Giga Shanghai opening in China in 2020.
A video (below) posted by Tesla Everything caught Musk’s brief Berlin boogie, and also shows the first car handover and views of the new factory from inside and out.
Speaking to some of the factory’s 10,000 employees after the Model Y handover event, Musk said it was “amazing to see how excited the customers were to receive their cars.” Turning to Tesla’s green credentials, the CEO added, “With every car we make, with every battery we make, we’re making the future better.”
Tesla is aiming for its new Berlin factory to produce as many as half a million vehicles per year — equal to around 9,600 a week — though in the first few weeks it’s expected to take things a little slower with around 1,500 vehicles coming off the line weekly. Musk said that while Giga Berlin is starting off with the Model Y, the factory will also begin producing additional vehicles at a later date.
Giga Berlin opened a few months behind schedule following a number of disruptions as officials conducted environmental reviews at the site. Despite the authorities giving Giga Berlin the green light to proceed with car production, some environmental protesters were seen outside the plant on Tuesday, continuing to voice concerns that the facility will adversely impact local wildlife and water reserves.
The new factory is expected to ease the demand on Tesla’s existing car factories in the U.S. and China, which have been shipping vehicles to Europe in a bid to meet growing demand.
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