Cape Town - US electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Tesla officially opened its first Gigafactory in Europe on Tuesday, with a dancing Elon Musk being cheered as he oversaw the handover of Tesla’s first German-made cars.
As loud music played in the background, with around 30 clients and their families in attendance at the handover, Musk danced as he handed over the first set of production EVs.
“This is a great day for the factory and another step in the direction of a sustainable future,” said Musk. “Tesla will make sure that this is a gemstone for Germany, for Europe and the world.”
German Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck said it was a special day for the region and for mobility transition in Germany.
“The path toward electro-mobility is another step away from oil imports,” he said.
The state government’s decision to authorise the construction of the plant came under criticism from the Gruenheide citizens’ initiative, who claimed the Gigafactory is located at an “unsuitable site” in a water protection area.
Tesla founder Elon Musk announced the billion-dollar investment near Berlin in 2019, with construction having started in February 2020. Tesla plans to employ 12 000 people and is looking to roll off 500 000 vehicles every year from its assembly line.