Elon Musk struggles to open the first european factory in Germany


A German court ordered the suspension of deforestation near Berlin, where Tesla is to build its first factory in Europe. For now, the duel between Elon Musk and German ecological activists is 1: 0 for the latter.

Elon Musk draws a vision of a world in which there are no obstacles to overcome. And he shows it at every turn, or at least he tries very hard. Tesla has not yet got the official permission to build a fabric plant near Berlin, but the heavy equipment has already started to move.

Environmentalists protest against mass logging and projected water consumption by the factory. For them, the forest in Gruenheide near Berlin is an efficient ecosystem. According to environmentalists, tree felling that is growing for the needs of the factory (totaling 153 ha) completely devastates it.

The future factory’s consumption of around 300 cubic meters of water per hour would endanger drinking water supplies for local residents. And although it can be assumed that Elon Musk was already struggling with this in the past, now the ecologists went to the Court  and the situation became even more complicated.

The court orders – Tesla stops cutting down trees

One of such activities is felling trees. First 90 ha, then 63 ha. Earlier, permission for such work was issued by the Office for Environmental Protection of the Lands of Berlin and Brandenburg. German environmentalists did not give up and the case of felling trees in Gruenheide went to court.

The Higher Administrative Court just made a decision and ordered the American company to immediately stop further grubbing up the forest. In the justification of the judgment, we read that the action related to the cutting of trees was to end abruptly in three days and without a clear court decision it would not be possible to, after the completion of the works, objectively resolve the complaint filed by a group of environmentalists from the Brandenburg Green League.

In the justification, the court allowed itself to suggest that it cannot be totally ruled out today that the application for legal protection brought by ecologists has no chance of success. This means that when building his factory in Germany, Elon Musk will have much more trouble than before, when he opened the doors of his production facilities in the USA and China.

On the other hand, representatives of the Christian Democrats and Free Democrats warn against repelling the head of Tesla too much. They believe that further casting of logs under Musk’s feet can very clearly reflect on the image of Germany – as a place still well suited for doing business.

Meanwhile, plans for a European factory are very ambitious. Initially, approximately 150,000 cars would leave the Gruenheide plant annually. Later, production would grow to half a million cars in 12 months. A total of about 12,000 employees are to be hired in the factory.