July 17, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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Berlin | Amid the controversy, Tesla celebrated its first European plant

Berlin |  Amid the controversy, Tesla celebrated its first European plant

(Greenhide) Operation Hypnosis near Berlin: American manufacturer Tesla on Saturday launched its future “giga-factory”, the first of its kind in Europe, hoping to deliver its first electric cars in December.

Florian Caesars
France Media Agency

Thousands of people welcomed the festival, but the company has not yet received a building permit and some residents are opposed to the project.

Participants were transported by special shuttles to Grunhide on the outskirts of Berlin, forming long queues to access the group’s first European factory, with dozens of white marks, ferris wheels and merry-go-rounds set up in front of it.

Late in the afternoon, before resuming his speech in English, Elon Musk, the group’s famous boss, appeared, trying to read a few sentences in German.

Photo by Hannibal Hanske, Archives Reuters

The Tesla plant was built in September 2020.

“We are ready to start production in a few months in November or December to deliver our first cars in December,” he said.

“With this factory, we want to produce cheap electric cars in large quantities. […] To accelerate the transformation of energy ”, Elon Musk was also launched for praise.

The ceremony took place on electro music concerts, factory tours and vegetarian food trucks, one day the American group wanted to film in the European capital Berlin.

“No date”

Through these “open doors”, the American manufacturer wants to show its white foot to the residents, after many months of controversy.

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Tesla really benefited from an extraordinary and controversial pre-authorization process that allowed it to begin work in 2019 before obtaining a building permit.

Final approval has not yet been issued from local authorities assessing the plant’s impact on the environment. However, the work is almost done.

This extraordinary regime – and consequently the administrative situation – has provoked outrage among some residents who are concerned about the region’s water resources and biodiversity.

“Stop Tesla”, “Water and jungle are not for private gain”: some of them expressed their project rejection a hundred meters away from the factory on Saturday morning.

“It’s wonderful to build such a factory without permission!”

Demonstrations, legal action, open letters … Opponents, backed by associations, have rallied in recent months to delay the project.

Last year, Justice forced Tesla to suspend its construction site because it was in danger of destroying the natural habitats of protected species of lizards and snakes.

The planned public consultation will be available until October 14 as part of the permit process.

Final authority will not be granted before this date. This is necessary to start factory production.

The AFP assured the Ministry of Environment in Brandenburg, where the plant is located, that “a date has not yet been set” for the issuance of this authority.


Among the guests at the party, mostly locals, we not only find unconditional supporters for the company. “I’m a critic in a way. There are not enough roads and space here for such a factory,” said Marlene Winkler, 35.

Photo by Adam Berry, France-Press Agency

The plant, which was announced with great fanfare in November 2019, will produce 500,000 electric vehicles per year, on 300 hectares.

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Many fear that there is not enough infrastructure to provide such a facility in this former region of East Germany.

The plant must benefit from the latest technologies, including “the largest molding machine for parts in the world,” said Ferdinand Dudenhofer, an automotive expert and director of the German Institute Center Automotive Research.

Elon Musk plans to build “the largest battery factory in the world” there.

If the building permit is not issued the group will have to demolish the plant at its own expense. Due to the “political support” for this project, the result is considered “impossible” by Mr. Dudenhofer. “All political parties are in favor,” the expert recalled.

But “edit changes” may be requested, initiating delays. It was originally scheduled for July.

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