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Elon Musk hints Tesla’s new Berlin Gigafactory may start next month

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Tesla is all set to start rolling at its first ever facility in Europe from November. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that the first cars from the new Berlin Gigafactory should roll out the production line next month.

The CEO of the US-based electric vehicle manufacturer said that he hopes to get the necessary permission in the next few weeks to start production at the site.

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However, he also said that it may take longer to start mass production at this facility. “Starting production is nice, but volume production is the hard part,” Musk told during a party recently.

Elon Musk hosted a grand party for 9,000 people to celebrate the opening of Tesla’s Berlin Gigafactory on October 9. Tesla will produce its Model Y electric vehicles and battery cells at this facility.

Musk said Tesla could achieve volume production of around 5,000, even “hopefully 10,000” vehicles per week, which would be much higher than what the local German industry, including Volkswagen or Renault, was able to produce in the entire last year. Michael Manske, Spokesperson for Volkswagen, admitted that ‘Tesla is setting new standards for productivity and scale in Grunheide’, referring to Tesla’s first European Gigafactory.

(Also read: Tesla is pushing Volkswagen to speed up EV plans, but not at the cost of 30,000 job cuts)

Tesla is currently awaiting nod from the German Environment Ministry, which is awaiting consultation on public concerns towards the site. A group of local residents and environmentalists have been protesting against the site. Elon Musk has been defending the Tesla Berlin Gigafactory against possible environmental impact. He has assured Tesla will use “relatively little” water and keep its battery cell production “sustainable”.

Tesla has submitted plans to invest 5 billion euros ($5.8 billion) in a battery plant with 50 GWh capacity next to the site, outstripping Volkswagen’s planned 40GWh capacity site in Salzgitter.

Musk said Tesla was worried that recruiting sufficient staff would be an issue, calling for people to apply from “all over Europe”.

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