High Quality: What Kind of Cars Will Tesla's German Factory Produce?

© REUTERS / Mike BlakeTesla super chargers are shown in Mojave, California, U.S. July 10, 2019.
Tesla super chargers are shown in Mojave, California, U.S. July 10, 2019. - Sputnik International
There’s a lot of German technology in Tesla cars. Germany as the location for the fourth Tesla plant is no coincidence. In the end, Elon Musk’s e-vehicles will become German cars, auto experts believe.

Despite all the euphoria, one shouldn’t forget about nature in terms of biodiversity in the region, the Brandenburg Nature Conservation Union notes.

A new Tesla plant is to soon be built in the city of Grünheide in the Brandenburg region. The region expects an upswing from the auto giant, and welcomes the planned plant's construction. In fact, the country's car industry is quite excited about the project and hopes for a boost in the field of e-vehicle construction for Germany.

How Does Tesla Compare With Others?

“If we compare the existing pure battery-electric vehicles with Tesla, Tesla has, in my opinion, a better energy balance", auto expert Ferdinand Dudenhöffer told Sputnik. According to the expert, Tesla gets the most out of the impressed current. That’s because Elon Musk “develops innovation", and has put together “a bundle of innovations” in his e-vehicles.

The ability to recover, to return part of the energy for reuse, plays an important role in energy balance optimisation: “You recover a great deal of energy while braking", Dudenhöffer explained. In addition, Tesla cars will be complemented by various useful features such as autopilot, automatic and semi-automatic mode, and an on-the-go update.

Tesla Will Promote German E-Vehicle Construction

The car expert believes that the topic of e-mobility will gain momentum in Germany with the new Tesla plant. “The location near Berlin will further boost e-vehicle production in Germany because it’s a sign that the country’s innovative companies are working on e-vehicles development", Dudenhöffer said.

Another advantage is that German suppliers will be part of the production, meaning competition for German carmakers. It will also encourage innovation.

Tesla Is Already Partly German

The fact that Tesla and Germany are a good match has already been noticed. “Grohmann Automatisierung has been one of the strongest factory automation companies in Germany in the last 20-30 years", Dudenhöffer explained.

“Tesla has bought it, and now they are working together. That shows Tesla’s great appreciation for Germany’s capabilities in the fields of engineering and automation".

The German supplier had helped Tesla reach its production target for the model 3, and it looked as if Tesla could go bankrupt with it. Elon Musk described the start of production in 2016 as “hell". It was Grohmann’s highly automated production methods that helped Tesla out of that so-called “hell".

Will Tesla Become a German Car?

When buying Grohmann, Musk noted that “Tesla would at least partly become a German company". This can be seen by looking at the number of German suppliers: according to WirtschaftsWoche, at least 36 companies have contracts with Tesla. This includes joint research with Bosch in the field of autonomous driving control, as well as Dräxlmaier’s technical developments regarding car interiors.

All this is superimposed on the quality of Tesla's products, Manfred Hübner from the Centre for Applied Research and Technology in Dresden believes. In his opinion, Musk wants to “bring in the Germans", thus showing that Germans are participating in the Tesla project and are confident in its prospects. At the same time, he estimates the influence of German engineering to be so high that he is certain “this will be a German car!”

Will Tesla Bring Many Jobs to Germany?

Regardless of the future results, the auto-expert is cautious regarding jobs: “When we look at battery production, which is highly automated, then very few workers are needed. And if we look at vehicle production à la Tesla, we see that subcontractors take part there, supplying mainly large components and assemblies. Cars, in fact, are just being brought together – and the number of jobs is limited", Dudenhöffer pointed out.

“You should be careful with numbers like 10,000 or 70,000 jobs so that you don’t get too disappointed later".
Danger! Protected Species Live Here!

The Brandenburg Nature Conservation Union has a different view on the development. For them, Germany’s role in the field of e-mobility in the production of Tesla is of secondary importance. It is much more important that the planned plant is set to be constructed in a forested area.

The plan involves the cutting down of 70 hectares, which is expected to be increased to 300 hectares later on. Tesle has promised to reforest a corresponding area elsewhere, but the issue is that there are protected species living near Berlin that would be affected by the plant's contruction. 

“This forest is quite interesting in terms of its fauna, as indicated in the 2001 development plans", Christiane Schröder, head of the Brandenburg Nature Conservation Union, told Sputnik. According to her, in particular, songbirds and bats, as well as reptiles such as sand lizards and smooth-snakes are found in this territory. “We need to see how things will work with the construction dates and the appropriate measures to protect these species", she stressed.

There are two options here: to catch animals and transport them to other habitats or create separate special green spaces on the plant's premises where animals will live. In both cases, a mapping of species living there must first be carried out, which will take “at least one vegetative period", which is one year.

“In case of doubt, it'll be necesssry to see whether it's possible to carry out staged construction in the areas where no problems have been identified, or whether it'll be possible to find some other solution", Schröder said. “To begin with, one should assume the maximum possible damage to this territory and take appropriate compensatory measures".

“A Green Company”: Tesla Shows Transparency

On Monday, all the project participants met at a conference regarding the future construction of the plant, including Christiane Schröder. According to her, various aspects were discussed, “from the legislative norms in the field of construction, the protection of monuments, the use of water resources, and environmental emissions to the protection of rare animal species". So far, no concrete decisions have been made, but certain “framework conditions” have been established.

Over the weekend, representatives of the Brandenburg Nature Conservation Union will inspect the construction site. Schröder, who is in contact with Tesla, is confident that construction will be carried out in accordance with the agreements.

“Tesla is a 'green company' that is transparent not only regarding e-vehicle productions, but while negotiating, the company demonstrates its readiness to do everything possible to protect rare species", the ecologist stresses.
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