BERLIN – This was the week where entrepreneur Elon Musk came to Berlin and said that Tesla would build its first Europe based mega factory in the suburbs of Berlin. A ‘Gigafabrik’, as the Germans say. Here’s 5 things you need to know about the big Tesla announcement.
- Musk was in Berlin to join the big yearly automotive award show hosted by newspaper Bild, where he was awarded the Goldenen Lenkrad (that’s a golden steering wheel!) when he announced his plans for his factory in Germany. Many other European countries – including the Netherlands – had been hoping too, to be picked by Tesla to build their factory there. The UK was out of question, according to Musk, ‘thanks to the Brexit’.
- The new factory will build Tesla’s model Y, batteries and power trains. According to this article in Tagesspiegel, the factory itself will be build in the south east corner of Berlin, where BMW once was planning on building a plant, but never did.
- 10.000jobs! Yes, this factory is going to be massive.
- Berlin has been trying to keep up with cities like London and San Francisco as a tech-hub for years now. This will give the city a big boost. ‘I love Berlin’, said Musk to newspaper Bild. ‘Our factory should be ready before the Berlin airport opens’, he joked.
- The traditional automotive industry in Germany has been struggling with building battery powered cars. ‘Tesla producing electric cars in Germany could wave a checkered flag at the local competition, such as Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler, speeding up innovation in the sector there, says professor Ferdinand Dudenhöffer of the Center for Automotive Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen in this article by The Local.