Tesla boss Elon Musk said on Tuesday that he was planning to build the world’s largest battery cell factory in the group’s electric car plant near Berlin.
Tesla has already started building a huge “gigafactory” in a forest area in Grünheide, south of the German capital, which is due to open next year.
The factory is Tesla’s first in Europe and is expected to produce 500,000 Model 3 sedans and Model Y SUVs per year.
At a European battery conference organized by the German Ministry of Economic Affairs, Musk said that battery cell production at the same German location would start with a capacity of around 100 gigawatt hours per year before increasing to 250 GWh per year.
At the time, the South African entrepreneur said he was “pretty confident it would be the largest battery cell factory in the world”.
The production of batteries for electric vehicles is currently dominated by Chinese, Japanese and South Korean companies, with Europe making up only a fraction of the market.
Musk announced his ambitious goal on the same day he became the second richest person in the world, according to Bloomberg, overtaking Microsoft founder Bill Gates after Tesla hit a market valuation of $ 500 billion.
Musk also said it “makes sense” to make a smaller Tesla hatchback that is tailored for the European market.
“In the US, the cars tend to be bigger … I drove a Model X through Berlin and we had big problems finding a suitable parking space,” he told the conference.
Musk added that local residents, some of whom took Tesla to court for cutting trees to make way for the plant, would not see “detectable levels of toxins in the air” due to battery production at the factory.
edf / mfp / rl
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