Tesla’s $5.5 billion German gigafactory, which is located outside Berlin in Grunheide, opened its doors and began exporting electric vehicles on Tuesday.
According to Reuters, the factory’s first 30 Model Y Performance variant vehicles will be delivered to customers on Tuesday. The ceremonial opening event for the new production plant, which is estimated to bring 12,000 new employment to the area, will be attended by both Elon Musk and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Tesla has filled 3,000 of those positions so far.
Tweeting Monday, Musk said he was, “excited to hand over the first production cars made by Giga Berlin-Brandenburg tomorrow!”
Excited to hand over the first production cars made by Giga Berlin-Brandenburg tomorrow!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 21, 2022
The new gigafactory may be a boon to the local economy, but it will undoubtedly worry German automakers such as Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz. In Grunheide, Tesla plans to build 500,000 electric vehicles per year, whereas Volkswagen only sold 450,000 EVs globally last year. Tesla’s manufacturing will ramp up gradually, with 500,000 units not projected until 2025.
Musk had wanted to start building vehicles at the new gigafactory by November of last year, but Tesla needed approval from German authorities to do so. However, after multiple requests regarding satisfying environmental restrictions, that license was not granted until March 4 of this year.