Automobiles

Tesla's German Gigafactory Is Up and Running

The first 30 Model Y vehicles coming off the line will be delivered to owners today.

It sure beats shipping them from Shanghai.
Christian Marquardt/Getty Images

Back in late 2019, Tesla CEO Elon Musk first confirmed that the electric-vehicle manufacturer intended to open a factory in Germany. Now, after just a few years, its operation is up and running.

Tesla on Tuesday has begun deliveries of the first vehicles to roll off the line at its factory in Germany. Musk traveled to Berlin for the event, which will see 30 Model Y electric SUVs being handed to their new owners. Musk tweeted his thanks to Germany on Tuesday afternoon:

Tesla said further orders from the German Gigafactory would begin arriving in April, according to a Reuters report. The automaker also told Reuters that more than 25% of the staffing for the facility has been hired thus far, promising some 12,000 jobs in total.

The plant should also bring some relief to Tesla's bottom line. Orders for European Teslas originally went through the automaker's factory in Shanghai, which meant they needed to be shipped halfway across the planet. In a reply to another tweet, Musk pointed out the "huge difference to capital efficiency to localize production within a continent." Tesla no longer operates a public relations department and thus did not respond to requests for additional comment.

Two weeks ago, Reuters reported that the German government had given Tesla the go-ahead to finish up construction at its Brandenburg Gigafactory, but it still needed to receive an operation permit, which would only happen after the automaker proved its facility met German air and water pollution standards.

Tesla hopes that the German Gigafactory will give it the foothold it needs to make a greater sales impact in Europe. At full clip, Tesla estimates the plant will be able to build 500,000 cars per year, in addition to creating 50 gigawatt-hours of battery power by way of the batteries it intends to build there.