BERLIN – From flashing lights and roaring loudspeakers to spacious stages and a ferris wheel, the Tesla factory near Berlin turned into a festival site for a one-day district festival on Saturday, moderated by CEO Elon Musk.
The fair, which is expected to attract tens of thousands of visitors, with Brandenburgers being a priority, starts at 10am and bands and DJs will “keep the party going” until late at night, according to the official event website.
Musk hopes to get the green light in the coming weeks to start production at the site, which will peak at 500,000 battery electric vehicles (BEV) per year – more than double the German BEV production in 2020.
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The company has also presented plans to invest 5 billion euros (5.8 billion US dollars) in a 50 GWh battery plant adjacent to the site, surpassing Volkswagen’s planned 40 GWh site in Salzgitter.
While Tesla has repeatedly reminded critics that Germany as a location will bring its e-mobility goals significantly closer, some locals and environmental groups are dissatisfied with the American CEO’s disruptive approach, which they believe contradicts German business culture.
The final public concern hearing about the site ends on October 14th. The Ministry of the Environment then decides on rejection or approval. Brandenburg’s Minister of Economic Affairs puts the chances of approval at 95%.
Drone footage posted on Twitter in the 24 hours leading up to the show showed preparations were in full swing, with soundchecks of booming techno beats, light tests and festival tents set up alongside rows of Tesla cars.
Tesla received approval from local authorities to have 9,000 people on site at the same time, although pandemic-related restrictions limited large gatherings to 5,000 after it came up with a plan to keep the COVID event safe, authorities said.
The participants were given a time window for a 1.5-hour factory tour and, according to the admission ticket, must prove a negative COVID test, vaccination or recovery.
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“We invite you to discover our factory along our production lines. You will have the opportunity to see tons of raw metal melted, pressed and put together to build our Model Y, ”says the ticket.
($ 1 = 0.8649 euros)