Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has revealed that the automaker should start building the Model Y at its new Gigafactory in Berlin, Germany before the end of the year.
While speaking during a special ‘Giga-Fest’ event hosted in a small town near the factory over the weekend, Musk said that production should commence in November or December. The first customer deliveries of Model Ys built at the factory are expected to begin in December, Musk added.
However, volume production at the facility will not start for quite some time. According to Bloomberg, Musk said he hopes the plant will build between 5,000 and 10,000 vehicles a week by the end of 2022, but commented that it “will take longer to reach volume production than it took to build the factory.”
Throughout the ‘Giga-Fest,’ Tesla brought along music, rides, and food trucks. It also offered tours of the new factory for local residents. The Verge notes that Tesla aims to eventually produce as many as 500,000 cars a year and have as many as 12,000 employees at the plant.
Musk did state in August that he had hoped Tesla would get approval to make the first cars “maybe in October” but that obviously hasn’t happened. He has previously blamed German bureaucracy for many delays. The factory has also come under fire from environmental groups about displacing local wildlife and came under scrutiny from the Brandenburg Ministry of the Environment for allegedly using illegal pluming that diverted wastewater from the factory into the local drinking water supply.