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Tesla receives permission from local council to expand factory in Germany

Tesla received permission from the local council on Thursday to expand its factory in the German town of Gruenheide, near Berlin, despite protests against the electric car maker’s plans.

The authorization given by the municipality of Gruenheide is only the first of a series of obstacles that Tesla will have to overcome to begin its expansion and increase the local logistics space, which includes a train station. The expansion will also need to be approved by environmental authorities. The expansion is part of the automaker’s plans to double the plant’s capacity to 100 gigawatt hours of battery production and 1 million cars a year, which would allow the company to dominate the European electric vehicle market. Environmentalists and local groups fear that the plant’s expansion will put the region’s water supply at risk, as the plant is located in a drinking water protection area. Protesters opposing the expansion clashed with police this month, and some attempted to enter the factory. An alleged arson fire near the site left the plant without electricity in March. In front of the place where members of the Gruenheide city council gathered on Thursday – under police protection -, protesters held signs with the words “People above profit” and “Turn off the tap Tesla”. The automaker has already had to review its expansion plans for Gruenheide after citizens voted against it in February, and now the company could cut down only 47 hectares of forest, half of what was foreseen in the initial plan.

Source: Terra

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