The second online hearing ended on Monday. The critics had the opportunity to express their concerns about the Tesla plant in Greenheide in the state of Berlin-Brandenburg. However, it will take some time for the result to be made public, as all available data must first be evaluated. Therefore, the start date of production is not yet clear. Its launch will only be allowed if the state of Brandenburg grants environmental approval.
For the founder of the American car industry Elon Musk, the margins are narrowing, since he wants to start the production in December. Customers are already looking forward to buying one of the coveted electric cars.
A project with a huge risk and many critics
Musk reiterated his goal of producing 50% more cars each year, reaching 20 million vehicles a year. The capabilities of existing plants in the US and Shanghai, however, are insufficient for these grandiose projects. So Tesla was for a long time looking for a suitable production site in Europe and finally found what it was looking for in Greenheide, Brandenburg. The total investment in the new facilities is close to six billion euros.
A risk for Musk, however, is that he may be forced to demolish the plant if not approved, restoring the site to its original condition – as promised, if the permits are not granted. In the worst case scenario, Elon Musk would not only lose the hundreds of millions of dollars he has already invested in the construction of the facility, but would also have to finance the demolition of all the facilities and pay compensation.
In the meantime – about two years after the first announcement – the work is almost done. Production was scheduled to begin this summer, but residents and critics of the project stood in the way.
Strong criticism and public debate
Environmentalists, locals and other critics have filed more than 800 complaints about the Greenheide plant: They are concerned about high water consumption, fear that Tesla will not be able to handle accidents well enough, and want to prevent the negative consequences endanger the flora and fauna of the area.
To reassure the public and appease the critics, an open day was organized in Greenheide last October – with a huge amusement park wheel and an equally huge sausage counter. Visitors could take a tour of the factory premises, while having the opportunity to drive the new Model Y on a trial basis. In fact, Elon Musk himself was present at the event, in order to personally answer questions.
In addition, from September 24 until mid-October, an online platform was launched to give critics a chance to voice their objections. However, according to environmental organizations, this platform was announced at the last minute. So, in order to be sure of the validity of the process, the State Environmental Service extended the platform until November 22.
Despite the criticism, Brandenburg Social Democrat Finance Minister Gerg Steinbach is optimistic that production in Greenheide will begin this year. However, he could not guarantee it, he said in Potsdam on Monday. He assumes, however, that any objections would not lead to “huge problems”.
Tesla is creating new jobs
Tesla wants to build the “Y” SUV model in Germany, which is based on the bestseller model 3. So far, Y vehicles from China have been delivered to Germany and other European countries. Even though production in Berlin has not yet begun, new hires are already underway. “No experience is required in the automotive industry,” says the Tesla website, making a great promise to those interested: “You will work in our state-of-the-art super factory, where you will solve the most interesting problems in the world with the best and smartest people the passion to change the world “.
And while Tesla still has to wait for approval to start production, its German competitor, Volkswagen, announces its own plans. In order to achieve production times comparable to those of Tesla, a new factory for the electric Trinity model is to be built near VW’s headquarters in Wolfsburg. Of course, the time for the construction works is pressing, as the car is going to be released on the market in 2026.
Edited by: Chryssa Vachtsevanou
Source: Deutsche Welle
Source From: Capital