Tesla has opened its first European electric vehicle production facility on the outskirts of Berlin, Germany. In an opening ceremony, attended by Elon Musk, Tesla CEO and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the auto company handed over the first thirty German-built Tesla cars to its customers.
Tesla is reported to have invested €5 billion in the new Gigafactory, which when at full production capacity will manufacture 500,000 vehicles a year and employ around 12,000 people.
Once fully operational, the new factory will also produce 50 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of battery cells annually. Until then, Tesla is expected to import batteries from China for its German-made vehicles.
The Berlin factory is Tesla’s third auto production facility and is stated to be its most advanced, sustainable and efficient to date. A further facility is also being constructed in Austin, Texas, and is expected to open in April 2022.