Tesla delivers the first vehicles from its German Gigafactory

It plans to eventually produce 500,000 vehicles per year from the plant.

Hannibal Hanschke / reuters

Tesla has delivered the first 30 Model Y cars manufactured at its $5.5 billion Grenheide, Germany Gigafactory that officially opened today, Reuters has reported. "Excited to hand over the first production cars made by Giga Berlin-Brandenburg tomorrow!" tweeted Tesla CEO Elon Musk yesterday.

The event, delayed from last year due to environmental and other complaints, is being attended by German Chancellor Olaf Scholtz. "Some people didn't trust Germany could do this," regional finance minister Joerg Steinbach told RBB radio yesterday. "We showed the world."

Tesla came close to losing its water supply contracts following a complaint by local environmental groups. It addressed them by promising to minimize water usage, and also said it would plant more trees than it removed during construction.

The company received final approval to start production on March 4th. Steinbach said that there was currently enough water for the plant, but added that Tesla will have to tap additional sources a longer distance away for any expansion.

Tesla plans to produce 5,000 to 10,000 vehicles per week by the end of 2022, and the plant will eventually have a production capacity of 500,000 vehicles per year and 50 gigawatt hours (GWh) of battery power, more than any other German factory. Volkswagen produced around 450,000 EVs globally last year, and is planning a €2 billion EV plant in Wolfsburg that's set to open in 2026.

Chosen buyers will receive the €63,990 ($70,370) Model Y Performance EV with 320 miles of range. Tesla has released several stories marking the occasion, showing several shots of the Gigafactory's interior and exterior.