Musk Says Danke Deutschland As He Hands Over 1st German Made Tesla

The billionaire entrepreneur and head of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, has said “Danke Deutschland” as he handed over the first-ever German-made Tesla.

Despite licensing delays with the German environmental authorities, the protests and the critics, the electric car manufacturer Tesla has built and begun operating its new electric car plant in Gruenheide, a municipality in the Oder-Spree District, in Brandenburg, some 37 kilometres from the heart of the German capital Berlin, just over 850 days after announcing it.

Elon Musk’s long-delayed, USD 5.5 billion Tesla ‘gigafactory’ was given last-minute approval by the German authorities and obtained its final environment permit last week.

The Twitter post of Elon Musk, who thanks Germany for the Tesla giga factory in Berlin. (Newsflash)

The massive factory in Brandenburg had been threatened by the WSE water association, which had said that it would terminate its supply contract with the electric automobile manufacturer.

But this was avoided, with the new plant delivering its first-ever German-made Tesla on schedule on Tuesday, as Musk had promised. The big launch event, which was set to be attended by 500 guests, saw the very first Model Y Tesla roll off the assembly line at what is now Europe’s biggest electric car factory.

Thirty new Tesla customers personally accepted their car from Musk, with the very first customer being Reiner Puls, 61, from Karlsruhe, who works as a mechanical engineer. He reportedly said: “After the Roadster, two Model S and a Model X, this is my fourth Tesla.”

During the launch event, Musk said: “Thank you, Brandenburg, thank you, Gruenheide, thank you, Germany.”

Tesla giga factory Berlin Brandenburg can start operating in Germany. (Courtesy of Tesla, Inc./Newsflash)

He added, to cheers from the 500 guests: “With solar power, wind energy and storage, we ensure sustainability. Believe in the future!”

And the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, 63, said: “This is a sign that something is moving in Germany. Electromobility is the mobility of the future – that has been clear since today.”

Speaking at a joint news conference with European Parliament President Roberta Metsola in Berlin, also on Tuesday, the German Chancellor said: “We have decided to become independent, as soon as possible, from imports of coal, gas and oil from Russia. And we’re working on this at full speed.”

Last week, WSE boss Andre Baehler and the Head of Water at the Brandenburg Environment Ministry, Anke Herrmann, agreed on Wednesday afternoon (16th March) at crisis talks in the Potsdam State Chancellery, that in the event of a water shortage, the supplier may pump 1.3 million cubic metres more water than it had previously announced that it would tolerate.

Tesla giga factory Berlin Brandenburg can start operating in Germany. (Courtesy of Tesla, Inc./Newsflash)

Henryk Pilz, 56, of the CDU, who is also the chairman of the water association, said at the time: “The WSE is withdrawing the decision to terminate the contract today.”

The decision has cleared the way for 16 municipalities in the Brandenburg area to build apartments and establish businesses ahead of the factory beginning operations.

The agreement was last-minute and arrived just in time, after Elon Musk said on Tuesday that he was looking forward to celebrating the delivery of the first “Made in Germany” Teslas.

The water permit was the last of the environmental hurdles the company reportedly had to overcome before it could begin production.