Elon Musk says that the first Tesla cars could arrive in Berlin in early November.
The first cars from Tesla's new Berlin factory are expected to leave the factory early next month, Elon Musk, the company's CEO, said on Saturday at the plant's site, but said it would take longer to achieve volume production.
Musk anticipates to get a green signal to start production at the facility in the coming weeks. The most recent public consultation on the site's concerns will end on October 14, following which the environment ministry will make a decision.
"It's great to start production, but volume manufacturing is the hard part," Musk told cheering crowds at the factory site, many of whom watched the address live on social media. The time it takes to get to production will be longer."
He stated that daily volume production will be 5,000 to "ideally 10,000" vehicles, and that battery cells will be manufactured in large quantities by the end of next year.
He defended the business against environmental criticism, claiming that it uses "very little" water and that battery cell manufacturing is "sustainable."
Musk's strategy has angered several local residents and environmental groups which they say is contrary to German corporate culture.
"I would encourage them to stop building electric cars and instead go to Mars," said Manu Hoyer, who led a small demonstration of people opposed to the project because of its environmental impact.
The factory's 95 percent operation is anticipated to be approved by Brandenburg's economics minister.
Tesla has proposed investing EUR 5 billion (about Rs 43,500 crore) in a 50GWh battery facility close to the site, which will surpass Volkswagen's planned 40GWh site in Salzgitter.
Musk expressed concern that finding enough employees might be difficult, and he encouraged people from "all around Europe" to apply.
He anticipates mass production of the battery plant by the end of next year.
The company offered 9,000 tickets for the festival, with Brandenburg residents getting first priority.
"Take a look, Mom!" Emil, a 9-year-old who was one of numerous children lined up with their parents for a 90-minute site tour, exclaimed, "A Tesla!"
Fans exploded in joy and greeted Musk like a popstar when he took the stage at sunset.
"This is a one-of-a-kind day," remarked Tesla supporter Fred Schroeder. "For the first time, the Tesla factory in Germany will be exposed to the public." It's a once-in-a-lifetime occasion."
Another drove his Tesla from Milton Keynes, England, despite the fact that he didn't have a ticket. He claimed that seeing the place from the outside was worthwhile.