Fortune talked with Elon Musk recently about Tesla GigaFactory Berlin.
On being asked about why Berlin was chosen, Elon said that they needed a place with access to a large number of people. Elon says they will need about 40-50k people, & atleast 20k in first 18 months of production. This just shows how huge Giga Berlin is going to be. Elon guesstimates that they will reach 10k/week production by end of 2022. They aim to start production in 6-9 months with goal of 1k/week by end of this year. Investment in factory is going to be huge & it will be first time Tesla will be manufacturing batteries also.
Regarding environmental issues Elon says "I think Germany may actually have more rigorous environmental rules and regulations than California, which I didn’t think was possible. I thought no place had more authorization than California!".
Sticking to the Tesla mission, Elon said they encouraged other carmakes to go Electric too & he had number of conversations with Herbert Diess. During a past visit, Elon drove ID3 with Diess too.
On union issues Elon mentions that it's not obvious what unoin would add, there are many union laws in germany even without unions. Someone might want to join union if Tesla is doing something wrong & they aren't taking care of the needs.
On being asked Why Europe is necessary to Tesla, he says unless you are a niche company, it's hard for a volume company to be successful without succeeding in North America, Europe & China.
Giga Berlin will be using a lot of wind & solar power; and recycling as much water as possible. Elon aims to make Giga Berlin a beautiful, sustainable & a model factory. Tourists will be welcomed at the factory too.