FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Tesla’s <TSLA.O> will use its plant in Brandenburg, Germany to demonstrate a radical overhaul of how its cars are built, as well as making electric car battery cells and battery packs, Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Thursday.
Musk made the comments to bystanders at Gruenheide, on the outskirts of Berlin, where the U.S. carmaker is building its new European factory, a video on the Teslarati website showed.
Tesla plans to manufacture a new version of its Model Y crossover vehicle, and possibly even battery cells at the site.
“It will be the first time that there will be a transformation in the core structural design of the vehicle. It’s quite a big thing. Both manufacturing, engineering and design as well,” Musk said in the video.
Tesla wanted to help accelerate a transition to sustainable energy, not just build cars, Musk said.
“The three elements needed for a sustainable energy future are sustainable energy generation, energy storage, and sustainable transport, electric cars.”
Musk’s comments come after Tesla acquired a licence that will enable it to trade electricity across western Europe and started surveying customers in Germany about potentially using Tesla electricity in their cars.
“I think we will be building some batteries and cells and other things here. That will be good for stationary storage of wind and solar,” Musk stated.
Musk, who said he was pleased with the progress being made on the plant, told the bystanders that “Deutschland Rocks” and praised the availability of local engineering talent, saying that Tesla would need to make lots of hires.
“We will start off with the factory but we will also do some original engineering and design work. It is going to be, actually to be totally frank, better than the one in the U.S.”
As well as having the most advanced vehicle paintshops in the world at its Brandenburg factory, Tesla wants to have a colour laboratory in Germany.
Musk, while signing autographs for fans, said he also has plans for a “ravecave” on the roof of the new factory, which would be a “real fun place to work”.
“I think a ravecave is culturally necessary.”
(Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Alexander Smith)