Tesla boss Elon Musk is in Germany for a series of visits. Yesterday afternoon he met the German Minister of Economic Affairs, Peter Altmaier. Therefore, the CEO of the electric car manufacturer visited a company that is currently working on a vaccine against the COVID-19. It was unclear whether he also visited the construction site of Tesla’s enormous factory near Berlin.
CureVac on Elon’s radar
Elon Musk already announced on Twitter on Sunday that he would come to Germany. This for, among other things, discussions with biotech company CureVac in Tübingen near Stuttgart. Musk proudly reported in July that Tesla is in the process of building “RNA micro-factories” for the German vaccine developer. These are mobile molecular printers that make genetic information for use in a vaccine. CureVac received permission in June to test its experimental coronavirus vaccine on subjects. The results of the first test phase are expected this autumn. According to CureVac, the vaccine could be marketed by mid-2021. The European Commission has already reserved 405 million doses of the vaccine.
The Tesla CEO visited the biotechnology company this week. In photos of the visit he could be seen wearing a black and white cloth as mouth and nose protection. Curious people had to wait a long time in the rain to catch a glimpse of Elon Musk, according to Swabian Tagblatt. He arrived a little before 5:00 p.m. in the passenger seat of a black Tesla Model X that immediately disappeared into the underground parking garage. After about three and a half hours, Musk showed up on a walk with company employees.
“Made in Germany”, the Tesla-Y
From southwest Germany he then flew on to Berlin, where his private plane landed at Schönefeld Airport just before midnight, according to the newspaper Der Tagesspiegel. It’s about 30 kilometers from the site where Tesla’s first European giga factory is under construction. Musk wrote in his tweet that “Giga Berlin” is one of the reasons for his coming to Germany. The big question was whether he would visit the construction site. There was a lot of speculation about this on Twitter. The reason was pictures of a large white party tent on the site and a black van with trailer of an event organizer.
The car factory is due to open its doors in July 2021 on the 300-hectare site near Grünheide. Ultimately, 500,000 Tesla-Y electric cars will roll off the production line every year. The final building permit has not yet been granted. That depends on the environmental impact report.
Not everyone is pleased with the factory
More than 300 objections have been filed against the construction of the factory in the forest and water extraction area, in which water consumption by Tesla plays a major role. They will be discussed at the end of this month during a hearing with opponents and critics. Some of them have already taken up residence at the access road to the construction site, as can be seen in photos on Twitter. They await Musk with banners saying in German: “Predatory construction on nature and groundwater must stop immediately” and “No industry in water extraction area.”