US electric carmaker Tesla has gotten off to a flying start in its goal of completing its first European “gigafactory” in Grünheide near Berlin. Less than one year after founder Elon Musk announced that he was coming to the location some 35 kilometers from the German capital, local broadcasters and newspapers have reported that construction is proceeding at a “record” and “standard-setting” pace.
“I believe in speed,” Musk said during a recent visit to the site.
Part of the credit goes to regional authorities. The state of Brandenburg, where Grünheide is located, has set up a special task force that holds weekly meetings with Tesla representatives to address issues as they arise.
Tesla aims to start producing cars and automotive parts at the Grünheide facility by July 2021. It is estimated that the gigafactory could create 12,000 jobs, and the company is already advertising positions. Meanwhile, business magazine Wirtschaftswoche is reporting that Tesla has purchased 12 hectares (29.5 acres) of land adjacent to the site, possibly for the purposes of expansion.