Gigafactory Berlin has developed a bit of a reputation among Tesla’s vehicle production facilities. While it is capable of producing Model Y units with excellent quality, and while it is home to the company’s most advanced paint shop, Giga Berlin is also the facility that constantly attracted opposition during its buildout process.
Tesla faced numerous challenges while establishing operations at Giga Berlin. Environmentalists closely monitored Tesla’s activities and local residents expressed concerns about potential water depletion in the area. Giga Berlin critics have put in some serious effort to block the facility from operating. And when these initiatives were unsuccessful, efforts were still launched against the facility.
While Giga Berlin has not yet reached its target capacity of 500,000 Model Y per year, Tesla is already looking ahead to the facility’s next phase. Phase 2 of Giga Berlin is expected to expand the plant’s production capacity by an additional 500,000 units, which should give the factory an output of one million vehicles per year.
This is definitely good news for the factory, but this also means that Tesla will have to navigate what could very well be another painful and exhausting approval process. An rbb24 report indicated that the company is in the public consultation stage for Phase 2. This provides individuals the opportunity to review the plans’ available documentation online from July 19 to August 18. The public will then have the opportunity to voice their concerns and opposition during a public hearing, tentatively scheduled for October.
As indicated in the plans submitted to the Brandenburg Environment Ministry, Tesla intends to construct a new large production hall for its expanded vehicle production area. The company is also looking to optimize operations on its existing line to enhance productivity. Apart from this, Tesla is planning to double the capacity of its battery production facility from 50 GWh to 100 GWh per year.
It is almost certain that Tesla’s plans to expand Giga Berlin will be met with opposition from the facility’s longtime critics. That being said, the electric vehicle maker could make a pretty compelling case. After all, Tesla believes it can double Giga Berlin’s capacity to 1 million vehicles per year without increasing its water usage at all. That’s a very difficult point to oppose, since the facility already consumes the same amount of water today.
Tesla plans to introduce hybrid cooling towers and eliminate quench tanks in the casting process. Cascade rinsing systems will also be implemented in the paint shop and battery can wash process. Serious efforts will be made to treat and recycle water as well. Rainwater is also set to be captured, recycled, and utilized for cooling manufacturing equipment. Even the condensed water from the plant’s air conditioning system is expected to be used in the cooling towers to offset water consumption.
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