Tesla wants to make sweeping changes to its Berlin-Brandenburg Gigafactory in Germany, which will ultimately transform the European facility into the continent’s largest car plant, capable of building 1 million EVs per year and 100 gigawatt-hours of batteries, according to Reuters.
As per the source, the American EV manufacturer has requested approval from German local authorities for several construction projects including a new battery cell testing lab and extending water recycling, which should be operational in the first half of next year, according to documents filed with the local government.
Among the changes will also be extensions or changes to existing parts of the factory such as the press shop and paint shop. Additionally, a new material storage facility will also be built.
Gallery: Tesla Giga Berlin (Tesla Gigafactory 4)
With this being said, Reuters writes that all of these changes are part of the first of three expansion stages that – when completed – will see Tesla manufacture more vehicles in Germany than Volkswagen does at its Wolfsburg facility, where 800,000 cars are set to be built annually.
As part of the plant modifications, the maker of the so-called S3XY lineup has committed to not using any additional water capacity and instead recycling the 1.4 million cubic meters of water it’s licensed to use.
Local residents can submit their objections to the latest proposals until mid-September.
Currently, the Berlin-Brandenburg Gigafactory assembles the brand’s most affordable electric crossover – the Model Y – and reached an output of 5,000 units per week back in March. The American carmaker didn’t provide a timeline for ramping up output, but a recent report from Business Insider said that the company’s plan of assembling 6,000 EVs per week was on hold.
Additionally, Tesla reportedly cut Saturday shifts and reduced the number of temporary workers at its German plant last month, although production is still on track to reach self-imposed targets.
The Model Y was Europe’s best-selling EV in May, with 21,967 units sold on the Old Continent, followed by the Volkswagen ID.4 with 8,600 units and the Volvo XC40 (battery-electric and plug-in hybrid) with 8,233 vehicles.
In total, Tesla sold 105,307 Model Ys in Europe in the first five months of the year, gaining an advantage of 70,000 units over its competitors.
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