Elon Musk was in town

The Tesla CEO met with representatives of the Brandenburg state government. The plant in Grünheide is scheduled to go into operation at the end of the year.

"Germany rocks!"
"Germany rocks!"dpa/Patrick Pleul

Grünheide-Tesla boss Elon Musk was in Germany for a quick stopover to chat with representatives of the Brandenburg state government on Wednesday, Brandenburg Economy Minister Jörg Steinbach (SPD) tweeted Wednesday evening. The politician said he'd had a "very relaxed evening meeting" in which state premier Dietmar Woidke (SPD) also took part. "We had a trusting exchange about the tasks still ahead," Steinbach said.

A Tesla factory is sprouting out of the ground in Grünheide just to the east of Berlin. The company said that at least 500,000 Model Y electric SUVs will be rolling off of the assembly lines annually from next year.  A battery cell factory is also under construction.

Sign up for our Friday English newsletter.

Musk last visited the site in May. The plant was originally scheduled to open this July, but a host of administrative complications have delayed the factory, including the fact that the entire project has yet to receive a proper building permit. Construction proceeded under a number of provisional permits. The main obstacle to the full building permit remains the question of the factory's environmental impact, specifically the effect of its massive projected water usage on regional groundwater levels. 

In the spring, a German TV report found that construction workers on the site were being paid below minimum wage.

Berlin news in English.