It's been a rough road for Tesla's latest Gigafactory outside of Berlin, but according to CEO Elon Musk, the automaker plans to fire up its first European plant in October. Reuters reported on Musk's comments Friday as the company hopes to have production up and running in just a couple months.
The CEO, during a trip to Germany, met with the conservative candidate aiming to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel, who's supportive of the project. Tesla, however, hasn't received final approval from local regulators to flick the lights on and hit Musk's timeline. The plant could face more delays and push initial production to next year.
Musk reportedly addressed concerns surrounding water usage at the plant saying, "It's like water everywhere here. Does this seem like a desert to you?" perhaps somewhat insensitively, given the recent record floods in Germany. He added Tesla received "a lot of support" locally. "We feel very welcome and we're very happy to be here in Deutschland," Musk reportedly said. Tesla does not operate a public relations department to field requests for comment.
According to a report last month, the German site is already six months behind schedule after facing a number of environmental hurdles and legal challenges. Local groups notched legal victories regarding deforestation and wildlife throughout construction. Tesla also dealt with the removal of WWII-era explosives, relocating various animals, building around the local wildlife's mating season and ensuring the work doesn't disturb groups of reptiles.