Locals fight Tesla plant expansion plans in Germany, build tree homes to protest

Led by a group which calls itself Robin Wood, activists say any expansion of Tesla Berlin plant would cause a further strain on natural resources in t
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Tesla
A tree house hangs on ropes, as activists erected several tree houses in a forest to protest against the expansion of the Tesla Gigafactory, in Gruenheide near Berlin. (REUTERS)
Tesla
A tree house hangs on ropes, as activists erected several tree houses in a forest to protest against the expansion of the Tesla Gigafactory, in Gruenheide near Berlin.

Tesla has a problem in Germany. Yes, again. The US electric vehicle (EV) giant has just one manufacturing facility in all of Europe, just outside of Berlin, and wants to expand it in order to bolster manufacturing. But most locals here are vehemently against any green signal which would allow the company to expand the facility which, they say, would come at the cost of hundreds of trees in the area.

It is reported that Tesla wants to expand its production facility in Germany by 420 acres with the primary aim of increasing its output from here. But a majority of locals here are opposing any such move with environmental groups joining in to highlight the high number of trees that would need to be chopped down for the expansion to take place. Local reports highlight that many of the residents in the vicinity of the facility have now started building temporary homes on trees in the area to prevent Tesla crew from cutting these down.

Tesla
Around 60 per cent of all people who participated in a non-binding vote said they are against Tesla expansion plans in the area just outside of Berlin. (REUTERS)
Tesla
Around 60 per cent of all people who participated in a non-binding vote said they are against Tesla expansion plans in the area just outside of Berlin. (REUTERS)

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The protest is being led by a group which calls itself Robin Wood, as per an AFP report. The group points to the dense population of trees in the area where Tesla plans to expand its facility while also pointing out that the area is a water-protection site.

This is not the first time Tesla has had to face wrath of locals in Germany. At the time of construction of the facility, there were massive protests from locals who said the Tesla plant would be a burden on natural resources in the area. Some even accused the company of ‘stealing our water.’ Eventually, however, Tesla was able to go ahead with the 740-acre plant which has been in operation since 2022 and rolls out Tesla Model Y EVs. Politicians and industry groups argued that the facility will generate a huge number of jobs which would eventually benefit local communities.

First Published Date: 01 Mar 2024, 10:14 AM IST
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