Green Clash: German Environmentalists Protest Tesla Factory

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • 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.

  • Blueice Patient 28, sorry, but it is Oktoberfest. Bring a kegof Kraut beer and we will 50% you.
  • Bd2 Probably Toyota, Hyundai is killing them these days.
  • Bd2 Japan is evil, stop buying their vehicles. I hope TTAC has a holiday for PEARL HARBOR.
  • Wolfwagen If Isuzu could update this truck and keep the cost between $25K - $30K they would sell like ice pops on dollar day in a heat wave.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic I'm at that the inflection point of do I continue to putting money in a 12 yr old SUV entering a heavy maintenance cycle or start shopping.I have noticed comparable new SUVs with $2.5k knocked off the sticker price, but still with the shenanigans of $300 for nitrogen in the tires. However, I have noticed the same 2 yr old SUV which are only $4.5K less than the original sticker price. Usually the used cars price should be 35% to 40% less. This tells me there's a stronger market for used as opposed to new. Part of this is to handle the monthly note. Considering installments of 72 months, you'll never pay the beast off. Just wait till the end of the model year which is just two months away, and I think the comparable new SUV will come with larger markdowns. May not be the color you want, but there are deals to be made. 🚗🚗🚗