“We’ve reached two additional milestones before Christmas,” Brandenburg’s Economy Minister Joerg Steinbach said. “That makes me optimistic that this spectacular project can make further headway next year.”
Backed by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government, Brandenburg and the neighboring states of Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt are racing to switch their reliance on lignite mining and power generation to become centers of the green automotive industry. Tesla announced its decision to locate a “gigafactory” east of Berlin last month. The facility may employ as many as 10,000 people and target annual production capacity of as many as 500,000 cars, Bild newspaper reported.
The contract still has to be approved by Tesla’s top management, the Brandenburg statement said.
Germany pulled ahead of Norway in sales of all-electric cars during November, putting Europe’s biggest auto market in position to become the regional e-car leader on an annual basis for the first time. Germany’s carmakers are gearing up for a major electric car push with several new models scheduled for release next year and in 2021.