BERLIN: Tesla plans to build half a million electric vehicles a year at its future factory outside Berlin. Planning documents posted online reveal that the US automaker wants to construct Model 3 and Model Y vehicles at the site in Gruenheide, as well as “future models.”
The so-called Gigafactory — Tesla’s fourth — will include facilities to assemble entire electric vehicles, including the production of batteries.
The plans will have to undergo an environmental impact review and public consultation.
Tesla aims to start operating the plant in July 2021, an optimistic time frame by German standards. Construction of a nearby airport for Berlin began in 2006 and the opening has been delayed for eight years.
On Friday Tesla posted a jump in car deliveries in the final three months of 2019.
The firm founded by controversial entrepreneur Elon Musk delivered 112,000 vehicles in the quarter ending Dec. 31, a nearly 23 percent from the same three-month period of 2018.
The positive results contrasted with those of conventional auto giants like General Motors and Fiat Chrysler that reported middling sales which pressured their share prices.
But Tesla shares rallied further on the news, the latest in a run of better performance reflected in strong third-quarter earnings in October, a splashy launch of a new SUV design in November and the successful ramp-up of a Chinese car factory earlier this week.
Things have improved considerably from the early part of 2019 when US securities regulators sought to sanction Musk for violating a settlement over his August 2018 statements on Twitter tied to a quickly-aborted effort to take the company private.
In April, Musk and the Securities Exchange Commission settled the matter, imposing clearer guidelines on topics Musk should avoid on social media, including statements about acquisitions, mergers, new products and production numbers.