Tesla invites public to visit controversial European plant

Tesla is inviting people living near its new German factory to look around the production complex in October.

The plant, which will supply Tesla cars to the European market, is nearing completion in Gruenheide in the German state of Brandenburg.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter that he will be present at what he called a "county fair" on 9 October.

Citizens of Brandenburg and Berlin will be allowed to explore the factory site and look inside.

Visitors can "visit on-site booths and join various activities," and will also have the chance to take rides in a Model Y, Tesla said. There will also be food trucks on the site.

People interested in attending the event from 10 a.m. local time to 7 p.m. can pre-register online until 30 September, Tesla said.

"Due to capacity constraints, tickets are not guaranteed," the company wrote. If the event is at capacity, the automaker will prioritise visitors with an address in Berlin or Brandenburg. 

Tesla plans to send out tickets by October. Because attendance is expected to be high, the company has asked visitors to use public transport to travel to the factory. Shuttle buses will be organised to move visitors to the event and Tesla says it will take place regardless of weather conditions.

To attend, visitors must meet one of Germany's 3G rules (vaccinated, recovered, tested.) Proof must be shown at the entrance and wearing a mask is recommended.

Environmental resistance and red tape have delayed the €5.8bn ($6.9bn) plant.

In August, Musk visited Germany and met with State Leaders. The final environmental approval by the state of Brandenburg for the car factory and a battery plant that is also planned on the site, is pending.

An online consultation for objections to the updated application for the construction project is due to start next week. Tesla has been allowed to start building the plant after obtaining preliminary approvals and construction is well underway.

Environmentalists have warned of negative consequences due to the plant, such as drinking water shortages.

Musk has said the company hopes to build the first cars at the factory in October or soon afterwards.