According to Brandenburg’s Transport Minister Guido Beermann (CDU), the traffic chaos expected with the Tesla settlement in Grünheide did not materialize – nevertheless, he sees the state and region facing major challenges in future infrastructure expansion. “We have to build a giga infrastructure – suitable for the gigafactory,” said Beermann of the “Märkische Oderzeitung” (Saturday). All infrastructure projects would have to be implemented at their specific pace. However, he does not want this to be understood as a threat, because the Tesla environment benefits from the traffic development in many places.

The US company has been producing electric cars in Grünheide near Berlin since March 2022. There are currently at least 9500 employees there. In the first expansion phase, there should be 12,000 employees.

According to the ministry, almost 40 percent of Tesla employees come to work by bus or train. Above all, the Fangschleuse train station is important for commuters to get to the Grünheide plant. According to Beermann, most employees come from Berlin, in Brandenburg mostly from the Fürstenwalde or Storkow area. Otherwise, the workforce comes from larger locations within an reachability of 60 minutes. The influx into the region around the Tesla location is not that strong.

According to information from Tesla, the company assumes that the factory shuttle will go into operation from the train station in the second quarter of 2023, said Beermann. The 20-minute cycle will be set up after the station has been relocated with the 2026 winter timetable. Tesla aims to launch a train shuttle from Erkner to the factory in the second quarter of 2023.

At the same time, the infrastructure minister rejected criticism from the left about financing the station from taxpayers’ money. Brandenburg’s left-wing member of the Bundestag, Christian Görke, demands that Tesla contribute to the expansion costs. According to Beermann, it was already clear before Tesla settled that the platform at Fangschleuse station would have to be extended. In addition, the state has a significant interest in people using climate-friendly public transport to get to work. Brandenburg also wants to apply for funding from the Municipal Transport Financing Act for the new station as a local rail transport infrastructure.