Tesla’s Giga Berlin plant in Grünheide, Germany may not start production of customer cars until mid-March at the earliest, according to local broadcaster RBB24.
Without citing any sources, the report claims authorities are currently still reviewing the manufacturing facility's safety precautions. Apparently, Tesla repeatedly changed estimated quantities of toxic chemicals that could leak in accidents; in addition, officials have yet to assess Tesla's plans for cleaning up wastewater.
Only after these two issues are resolved can the plant receive the necessary permits to start production of customer cars. That said, further delays are expected as authorities still have to issue an operating license after final approval.
"We do not specify a concrete date," a spokesperson for the Brandenburg state environment ministry was quoted as saying by Automotive News Europe, adding that "we are in the final phase of the approval process."
Gallery: Tesla Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg County Fair
Tesla has been building its first factory in Europe through a temporary approvals process, and its official opening has been postponed several times. Last year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he expected Giga Berlin to have received its license to start mass production of the Model Y by December.
However, the final approval got delayed by bureaucratic hurdles and a court case over the plant's water use.
During Tesla's Q4 2021 earnings call, CEO Elon Musk said that both Giga Texas and Giga Berlin were awaiting approval from relevant government agencies to begin production.
Tesla projects it could build up to 500,000 Model Y electric crossovers a year at the plant near the German capital once it is completed. Currently, Model Y vehicles sold in Europe are imported from China.
Elon Musk confirmed he would visit Giga Berlin in mid-February, so we'll probably learn more soon about the date when Giga Berlin is expected to officially open for business.