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Home / Companies / News /  Elon Musk expects Tesla factory in Berlin to kick off soon. Here's how soon

Elon Musk expects the Gigafactory in Gruenheide near Berlin to begin producing Tesla cars by October this year, or soon afterwards, said chief executive Elon Musk on Friday. The American billionaire was visiting the facility with Armin Laschet, Germany's conservative candidate to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor.

"We're looking forward to hopefully getting the approval to make the first cars maybe in October if we are fortunate," Musk said.

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While Musk hopes for production to begin by October this year, the environmental agency in Brandenburg is yet to give its final approval for the Berlin Gigafactory.

Tesla had to delay the opening of its Berlin gigafactory to late 2021 on account of German bureaucratic hurdles. The facility also had to face opposition from locals over environmental concerns as the plant partly overlaps a drinking water protection zone and borders a nature reserve. With the pending environmental clearance, production at the facility could be delayed further to 2022.

"This region has so much water, look around you," Musk said when asked about the water concerns during his factory visit. "It's like water everywhere here. Does this seem like a desert to you?" he asked, laughing. "It rains a lot."

"We've gotten a lot of support and that's very much appreciated," he further said. "We feel very welcome and we're very happy to be here in Deutschland."

After the visit, Musk announced a “Giga Berlin-Brandenburg county fair & factory tour on 9 October" on Twitter.

“Priority for residents of Brandenburg & Berlin, but also open to general public," Musk added.

The move could be aimed at alleviating locals' concerns over the environmental impact of the Gigafactory. it remains to be seen how effective it turns out to be.

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