Tesla (TSLA) applied for the expansion of its European Gigafactory last month. Tesla’s car production plant is located in Berlin-Brandenburg which currently has the capacity of producing 500,000 cars a year.
Now the US-based electric automaker is working to double its vehicle production capacity at Giga Berlin from 500K to 1 million units annually. Currently, Tesla is only manufacturing its Model Y mid-size electric SUV at Giga Berlin.
The factory expansion documents and diagrams Tesla submitted to the component government authority were published on the government portal (UVP Verbund). These diagrams give us an exact preview of where and how Tesla plans to develop the new production and logistics buildings and other supportive infrastructure.
In addition to the 2X increase in annual production capacity, these documents also reveal some interesting information about the factory’s solar energy harvesting expansion. According to the application documents, Tesla is working on building a 50 MW solar energy farm at Giga Berlin which will be supported by a 30 MWh energy storage system powered by Tesla’s own Megapack batteries.
Interestingly, Tesla also aims to double its cell production at Giga Berlin. Tesla currently has a 50 Gigawatt-hours per year of 4680 cell production capacity at Giga Berlin which the company is planning and working on to scale up to 100 Gigawatt-hours annually.
The proposed change essentially involves expanding the existing facility for the construction and assembly of electric vehicles by increasing the annual production from 500,000 to 1,000,000 electric vehicles and battery cells with a storage capacity from 50 to 100 gigawatt hours per year.UPV Verbund / Berlin-Brandenburg Public Portal
Tesla’s new vehicle production, cell manufacturing, and logistics building is planned to be constructed on an area of 0.7 square kilometers (700 x 700 meters). The following labeled diagram of the proposed Giga Berlin construction shows specific areas where Tesla plans to build the new production and logistics areas.
Giga Berlin local observer Tobias Lindh explained the diagram in his Twitter post as the diagrams are originally marked in the German language. “The northern half will include Stamping, Casting (Very Big), Body Shop (Very Small), Paint Shop, Seat Production, and General Assembly. The other half will be used for logistics and there will be a road tunnel in between,” Tobias wrote.
Using Google Translate I have been able to decode some information from these diagrams. The first thing to understand is that there are 3 stages of application approval for the building construction that form the final permit.
In Diagram 1 above, areas marked with green color are in the 1st stage partial permit, yellow color areas are in the 2nd stage, and red colored ones are in the 3rd or final permit stage.
Tobias shared the following image of the construction of a temporary waste area which he discovered during his drone coverage of Giga Berlin last month (video below). This relatively smaller Lego-style architecture is there to support the dumping of waste and scrap during the construction of the Giga Berlin expansion.
I also pasted the diagram of the building on the under-construction building’s picture to give a better idea of its structure. We can see this building is colored in red on the diagram which means it has received the 3rd and final permit for construction.
The larger building adjacent to the temporary waste area is named the Container Storage Building. This new construction will be used to store battery cell materials, explosives for airbags and seatbelts, and other hazardous materials. In addition to 4680 cell manufacturing, Tesla will be adding production areas for drive units and battery packs. This will allow Tesla to produce main vehicle components in-house at Giga Berlin.
Of course, scaling up production to 1 million cars a year needs new delivery infrastructure as well. Giga Berlin expansion plan includes new vehicle and truck parking areas. This new area will have a capacity of 130 cars and 910 trucks according to the construction layout plan. We can also call this the vehicle landing area or delivery center from where Tesla will be shipping its EVs to the entire Europe.
The automaker is also working to build a shuttle train system at Giga Berlin. According to Tesla’s application documents, this train service will also be useable by the public aside from Gia Berlin employees who commute to work daily from longer distances. For years, Tesla has been using trains to deliver cars in Europe. So, this new train system might also help in speedy vehicle deliveries from Giga Berlin.
Tesla originally purchased 741 acres (300 hectares) of land in Berlin-Brandenburg to construct Giga Berlin. The US-based energy and car manufacturing company has only utilized a part of it now and we can safely hope to see larger expansions such as the current one in the future.
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