Production of the Model Y will not start until the end of 2021 – at the earliest
The start of production in July was announced a few weeks ago on the subject of the Tesla Gigafactory 4 in Grunheide near Berlin. That date is now definitely off the table, according to Tesla’s recently released quarterly report.
It says that the Gigafactory Berlin will not start production until the end of 2021. After all the protests by environmentalists and a court-ordered construction freeze, this is no longer a big surprise. However, it is astonishing how Tesla presents this serious shift as a secondary matter of course, as if one were "still on schedule":
"In Europe, the construction of the Gigafactory Berlin is progressing further, with production and deliveries still on schedule for the end of 2021. The machines for painting, punching, casting, etc. will continue to be brought into the building. In the meantime, we will increase the import volume to Europe further increase. " (Tesla report for the first quarter of 2021)
With the later start of production, the market launch of the Model Y will also be postponed in Europe. In the Tesla configurator can now be read about the mid-size SUV: "Estimated delivery: end of 2021". So far, a market launch there in July has been promised.
However, the start of production at the end of 2021 is also not certain. As Bloomberg now reports, citing Automobilwoche, car production is not even expected to start until the end of January 2022 due to problems with battery production.
According to Bloomberg, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said last week that series production of the new 4680 cells would begin in a year to 18 months – that would be April 2022 at the earliest. Musk apparently foresaw difficulties as early as November last year: "It is much more difficult to scale the production process than to prove something on a laboratory bench," said Musk at a battery conference.
"No car without a battery" (Automobilwoche)
Obviously, the problems with the German authorities are not the only obstacle to a quick start of the production of Tesla vehicles in Germany – the new batteries are not as easy to manufacture as expected. Great accuracy is required in the production of the particularly large cells, otherwise there is a risk of thermal runaway. And if battery production doesn’t work, auto production obviously doesn’t make any sense either.
More about Grunheide: Tesla’s battery factory in Grunheide could be ready in two years
Tesla Giga Berlin: The start of production in July is being held
Since the start of production has been postponed anyway, Tesla can now also tackle the approval process for battery production. Last week, the Brandenburg Ministry of the Environment announced that Tesla wants to change its permit application again, as reported by Die Zeit. Therefore the participation of the population is then probably necessary again, that is: the documents are publicly displayed and critics can raise objections. At least two months are estimated for this.
In November 2019, Elon Musk announced that they wanted to build a plant near Berlin. The construction work in Grunheide then started in the first quarter of 2020, from July 2021 the Model Y should be built there, and later also the Model 3. Battery production is also planned – even a large one that could deliver up to 250 gigawatt hours per year: it is "Pretty confident that it would become the largest battery factory in the world," Elon Musk said in November.
The car factory (and a "warehouse", which is apparently also to be used for battery production) are already finished in the shell. But Tesla still has no final approval for the car plant or battery production; so far, the US company has been working with partial permits.
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