What is Elon Musk's schedule

Tesla boss in Grünheide : Musk puts pressure on Gigafabrik - schedule wobbles

It's the point that some have been eagerly awaiting. How does Elon Musk react when problems arise for the first time on the construction site of the new gigafactory in Grünheide, when politics and authorities cannot adequately fulfill Brandenburg's Tesla wishes?

Now, for the first time, an answer is possible: The head of the US company, who was flown in on a quick visit, is pushing the pace without going on an escalation course to the authorities. And that despite the fact that the schedule is shaky.

“It is the common goal that the first vehicles can roll off the assembly line in Grünheide next year,” said Brandenburg's Minister of Economics Jörg Steinbach (SPD) on Friday, after meeting with Musk in the container of the construction management the previous evening an hour-long conversation. "We have agreed on a reasonable common line."

In his words, it was “an unconventional working meeting”, “and contrary to some speculation in advance, in a relaxed atmosphere.” It is fascinating to see the level of detail Musk personally takes care of the project. It is fitting that Musk made his quick visit on Friday held job interviews with top engineers on site.

Steinbach made no secret of the fact that current problems with the project were also an issue. "Of course we also talked about the schedule and the approval process," said the minister. He ask for your understanding that he is keeping a low profile on this. "Elon Musk asked for an explanation of what is possible and what is not possible because it would jeopardize the legal security of the project." Musk is aware of this. Some had feared a crash.

The ambitious schedule at Tesla is coming under pressure

There was a lot to talk about. Because Tesla's ambitious construction and approval schedule for the new factory, which has been erected in record time since the groundbreaking in July, where the shell of many halls is now, is now coming under pressure, according to research by the Tagesspiegel. The US group actually wanted to start installing the machines in the paint shop, the “Paint Shop”, in October, which has been delayed. Tesla has submitted an application for a further advance permit parallel to the ongoing environmental approval process for the Gigafactory, which has not yet been approved.

Everything that has been done on the construction site next to the Berliner Ring near the Freienbrink exit has gone through five such advance permits - at Tesla's own financial risk.

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The current problem: At the last meeting of the state government's task force for the billion-dollar project, Tesla representatives had been informed, according to Tagesspiegel information, that no further 8a approval can be expected before the end of November. It says a statement about which the representatives were “not amused”.

The background to this is that the verbal transcript and the evaluation of the eight-day mammoth hearing of the licensing authority as part of the main licensing procedure are not yet available. At this showdown in Erkner, the authors of 406 objections, residents, citizens' initiatives, environmental associations, and in some cases massive criticism and concerns, for example on the water problem. Granting an 8a permit before evaluating this hearing might be legally open to challenge. And neither Tesla nor the Brandenburg government want to risk any construction freeze imposed by the courts.

Call for applications for technical task force

Even if the factory's approval has been granted, probably not before January 2021, ramping up the complex production lines will be extremely challenging. Tesla is preparing for it.

A member of the management team has now started a call for applications on LinkedIn: "In Giga Berlin we are planning to start a special, 25-person technical task force that will be deployed wherever the most difficult problems arise and that will report directly to Elon", it says in it.

The requirements are, for example, evidence of “exceptional engineering talent”, “being a great problem solver / having an unconventional approach to problem solving” and “the energy to make amazing things happen”, it says. "If that's you, send your resume and a list of exceptional engineering achievements to [email protected]"

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