The history of Tesla’s Gigafactory in Berlin has been turbulent, and it may always be for a long time. Yet on March 4, Tesla could breathe a sigh of relief. The factory of the American brand could finally see the light of day after having received authorization from the authorities of Brandenburg. Without a final building permit, Tesla could no longer continue to operate, and the opening scheduled for last July had been delayed. But according to Numeramathis victory with great fanfare by the Elon Musk clan still does not please German environmentalists.
The starting point for this new salvo of protest dates back to April 11, explain our colleagues. 15,000 liters of a paint mixture escaped from the “mega-factory” that day before they were recovered by a company specializing in waste treatment. Intolerable for the Grüne Liga (Green League), environmental movement, which asked for an administrative closure of the factory. She even sent a file to the authorities to have Tesla’s business license suspended.
A non-compliant floor?
The environmental group also has other complaints, in particular on a specific point: the fact that the factory floor does not meet the required criteria and what Tesla had promised. This could cause water pollution risks, they said. If the Grüne Liga does not ask for a permanent closure, it wants the Gigafactory to be temporarily closed while the works are carried out. Very quickly, the Land of Brandenburg replied to them, specifying that there was no risk of groundwater pollution at this stage if the preventive measures are respected.
Numerama explains that if the environmental groups do not win their case, they could turn to the Ministry of the Environment. So far, they have not been able to prevent the opening of the factory, but have delayed it considerably. The site had been announced in 2019, but on many occasions, justice had asked the builder to suspend its site because of possible impacts on nature. Water consumption was also singled out. Extending over 300 hectares, it should eventually produce 500,000 electric vehicles per year. Currently, 2,500 to 3,000 employees work there. They should then be up to 12,000.