Tesla cuts German factory’s water needs in nod to local concerns
Tesla Inc. revised construction plans for its first European car factory near Berlin, reacting to issues with the region’s sandy ground and concerns the project will use up too much water.
The new documents, filed this week, include provisions for new pile foundations needed for stability and a “significant" reduction in the plant’s water consumption, Brandenburg’s Environment Ministry said Wednesday in a statement.
Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk is pursuing an ambitious timetable by targeting mid-2021 for the factory to churn out electric cars. While German officials have assured Musk that his project will be fast-tracked through the country’s notorious bureaucracy, local groups had complained that the plant will need too much water in a region already suffering from increasingly frequent droughts.
When complete, the factory will employ as many as 12,000 people and assemble as many as 500,000 vehicles annually. Tesla is moving into Germany’s heartland to vie with Volkswagen AG, BMW AG and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz as the country targets a massive increase in electric-car sales.