A German court has ordered a temporary stop to the construction of Tesla’s new gigafactory in the country after a court injunction was obtained yesterday by… environmentalists.
Protestors who are against the construction of the massive facility claim that it poses a threat to local wildlife and to the area’s water supplies. A group called the Green League has succeeded in obtaining an injunction from a court representing the Berlin and Brandenburg region, which declared that "It should not be assumed that the motion seeking legal protection brought by the Green League lacks any chance of succeeding."
Tesla has not actually been given official authorization to build the factory, though it did receive permission by Germany's environment ministry to begin site preparations "at its own risk".
After Elon Musk made the announcement that Tesla would build a new gigafactory in a region of Brandenburg state near Berlin, the company is currently at the stage of clearing forest land. The new plant will be Tesla’s fourth gigafactory (the others are near Shanghai, China, and in Buffalo, New York and Reno, Nevada in the United States), and the EV manufacturer’s first European car and battery plant.
The land bought by Tesla for the plant covers nearly 300 hectares, and the company hopes to have the plant operational in 2021. The plan is to build upwards of 500,000 vehicles there per year, and Tesla has said it plans to employ 12,000 workers at the plant.
Media reports in Germany claim that Tesla promised to relocate colonies of forest ants, reptiles and bats from the area being cleared. As well, last month the land earmarked for the gigafactory had to be cleared of seven unexploded WWII bombs.