Several Tesla Model Y vehicles have been spotted at Gigafactory Berlin. Production has been expected to start any day, but official environmental approval is still uncertain.
Over the last year, Tesla has run into a lot of red tape while trying to get approval to start production at Gigafactory Berlin, a giant new factory located near Berlin in Brandenburg. Most recently, environmental groups had managed to obtain an extension of the public commentary period for the project, which delayed approval for another month. The new period concluded last month, and Tesla has been rumored to be on the verge of approval, but it has yet to happen.
The Ministry for the Environment has now confirmed that it is still reviewing the comments and that Tesla apparently hasn’t completed all the documentation needed for the approval (via Tagesspiegel):
“After the online consultation has been completed, the statements made will continue to be checked. In addition, documents from the authorities and the developer Tesla are still pending.”
Brandenburg’s Environment Minister Axel Vogel echoed similar comments about some documents, or reports, missing in order to issue official approval:
“In order to be able to implement this legally, it is also necessary that appropriate reports are available. It is unfortunately the case that not all reports are available in this quality.”
While several government officials commented on the project, no one wanted to bring forward a timeline for the environmental approval.
In the meantime, Tesla appears to be making progress at the plant with several Model Y bodies and even full vehicles spotted in a recent drone flyover:
We can’t confirm that those Model Y vehicles were produced at Gigafactory Berlin, but it is a possibility:
The drone flyover also spotted some scraps coming out of the plant, which could also be an indication that some production work is ongoing.
Tesla has been aiming to start Model Y production at the plant by the end of the year, but time is starting to run out.