Tesla is still awaiting final approval to start production of Model Y customer cars at its plant near Berlin, Germany, but that doesn’t stop it from planning ahead.
The company has reportedly bought an existing rail track on which it plans to operate a shuttle train that would help employees commute to the factory.
According to a report from Berliner Morgenpost picked up by Teslarati, Tesla acquired the track from German Regional Railway Group DRE to ensure a better connection to its plant in Grünheide near Berlin.
The transaction was confirmed last week by a spokeswoman for the Brandenburg State Ministry of Infrastructure and Regional Planning. The representative said that Tesla will pay for planning, construction and operation of the shuttle.
The shuttle would operate between Erkner and a new stop on the track south of the factory site. Tesla will also build a new train station at the plant and will synchronize the shuttle train with the factory’s shift change times.
Gallery: Tesla Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg County Fair
With the track located next to the Giga Berlin complex, the shuttle service should make it easier for Tesla employees to get to work and back home.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk had hoped the German plant would be allowed to operate as early as July 2021, but the opening has been constantly delayed by the facility’s tedious formal approval process and opposition from some local environmental groups.
Approvals for factory are already in the final phase, Brandenburg's Ministry of the Environment confirmed recently, with Tesla currently producing test vehicles at the site.
Earlier this month, Tesla has been given permission to extend preproduction testing, with the automaker now permitted to produce 500 bodies a week up to a maximum of 2,000. Tesla is not allowed to sell these cars, though.
When finally given the green light, Giga Berlin will start building Model Y EVs equipped with 2170 batteries. The Model Ys built in Austin, Texas will pack the company’s custom 4680 cells instead, Tesla confirmed during the latest earnings call last week.