Tesla removes batteries from scaled-back Berlin factory plans

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BERLIN — Tesla is scaling back plans for its first European car factory, which will no longer assemble batteries, according to revised planning documents for the site near Berlin.

The changes include eliminating facilities for battery-pack production and plastic components, local authorities said Wednesday, citing documents filed by the U.S. maker of electric cars to get the project approved.

Tesla is cutting the height of most of the production building by about 29 feet to 50 feet.

The factory in the small town of Gruenheide will have a capacity to assemble “100,000 electric cars a year or more,” according to the documents. Other provisions are for new pile foundations and reducing the plant’s water needs in a nod to local concerns.

CEO Elon Musk is pursuing an ambitious timetable and aims to have the plant start production by July next year.

The project is an important expansion as positions the company in the backyard of German auto giants Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler as they ramp up their own electric-car offerings.

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Saurabh Shukla

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