Green Clash: German Environmentalists Protest Tesla Factory

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
green clash german environmentalists protest tesla factory

The catapulting of environmental issues to the forefront of public discourse has spawned many unlikely clashes between greens of different stripes. Climate protesters against CO2-free nuclear power generation, eco types versus high-speed electric rail, and now, angry Germans demanding Tesla stop stealing its water.

The electric automaker’s attempt to build a massive factory in the European country has hit a social roadblock.

Tesla has its eye on a sprawling, 300-hectare plot of industrial-zoned land in Brandenburg, Germany for the location of its new Gigafactory. The automaker, in expansion mode, is all about the local production these days. Europe, with its punitive emissions laws, is a ripe target for Tesla, and Germany especially, what with its bevy of high-end automakers — each planning a range of electric vehicles of its own.

The company’s Fremont, California assembly plant is tapped out for capacity, leading Tesla on a search for greener production pastures. A plant birthing Model 3s (and eventually Model Ys) recently opened in Shanghai.

While the $45.36 million Brandenburg land deal has already received the green light from Tesla’s board of directors and the state’s finance committee, protesters would prefer to see the American intruder take a hike.

As reported by Reuters, a group of 250 protesters assembled near the site over the weekend, chanting, “We are here, we are loud, because Tesla is stealing our water.” The future factory backs onto protected forest, and some trees would need to be cleared to build it. More importantly, the activists claim the massive plant would drain water from the area, impacting wildlife.

Their claims aren’t without merit. Tesla’s own plans for the factory state it would need to pull 300 cubic meters of water per hour to support its operations and employee base. Reuters reports that a Brandenburg water association issued a statement last week outlining “extensive and serious problems with the [plant’s] drinking water supply and wastewater disposal.”

Not everyone in the immediate area is unhappy with the proposal, of course. Labor unions and would-be workers are happy to see the arrival of an operation that’s expected to create 7,000 jobs. As such, counter-protesters set up shop on the other side of the street from the environmentalists.

Tesla aims to have the factory open sometime in 2021.

[Image: Beach Media/Shutterstock]

Join the conversation
5 of 30 comments
  • Don1967 Don1967 on Jan 23, 2020

    So while the eco-protestors are busy eating one of their own, Donald J Trump is actually doing something for the environment by signing onto the Trillion Tree initiative and telling his supporters that climate change is "not a hoax". It'll be fun watching their heads explode when he wins the Nobel Prize.

    • See 2 previous
    • Mcs Mcs on Jan 23, 2020

      @Inside Looking Out Trump sounds like he's an Elon fan. He wants to protect Musk, Thomas Edison, and the guy that invented the wheel:

  • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Jan 23, 2020

    " Trillion Tree initiative " I read elsewhere that cutting down all those trees in the amazon rainforest and elsewhere should never have happened. Fight carbon dioxide! Plant a tree. Every Arbor Day we plant a tree somewhere as part of a Keep America beautiful pledge. Last year, it was Sedona, AZ. This year we'll plant one wherever we'll be on Arbor Day, even if in El Paso, TX.

  • SCE to AUX Love it, and the price is a bargain, actually. The clean exterior is nice.Also, this caught my attention: "105mm throttle body"... that's a lot of air flow.
  • Tassos I predict this will be a big hit and conquer new markets. Housewives will be lining up to grab them, and the dealers will charge $200k a unit. Why? Because they already buy SUVs and crossovers they never needed, which have much less interior space than their minivans. So they will sacrifice a bit more of that space, but at least they will not drive identical looking crossovers with their accursed neighbor's wife.I also predict the Tesla Plaid and even lesses Teslas will beat the living daylights of this idiotic vehicle, and without even breaking a sweat.
  • Bobbysirhan I fully expect to be reading about the last-of-the-line Challenger Demon 170 Redeye Widebody three years from now.
  • Dougjp Finally, luxury/strong performance in a compact size car. Unlike the Civic R, the market for this segment has predominantly automatics buyers. Yet year after year, it appears Acura can't make such a car. They did have a 10 speed with torque (Accord), which counters the thought that they can't make a torque capable automatic.Oh well, look elsewhere I guess.
  • Analoggrotto The real question, how many years or months after the end of production will this vehicle be completely eliminated from the street? Neon lights, yellow spoiler covers, idiotic stripes, brazzers license plate frames, obnoxious exhausts and all.