May 28, 2024

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Tesla has received approval for the expansion of its Gigafactory Berlin in Germany

Tesla has received approval for the expansion of its Gigafactory Berlin in Germany

Tesla received approval for its expansion at Gigafactory Berlin, its production facility in Germany, after holding a meeting between community members and local officials on Thursday.

The meeting was held in the Hangelsberg district of Gruenheide under police protection, where protests against the expansion have continued since the weekend. Other opponents of the expansion live in the forest surrounding the plant in treehouses as a form of protest.

Community members expressed potential concerns about expanding the factory at Thursday’s meeting, but local officials chose to go along with Tesla’s wishes.

Credit: Tesla Manufacturing/X

Community concerns

Many citizens expressed concerns about Tesla’s larger factory footprint, saying during the meeting Thursday that they did not agree to more manufacturing space and other items the automaker needs.

One said the plans were to make “the industrial giant feel at home”, but expressed concerns about how local residents should feel, saying they should feel comfortable too. “We are giving up a clean bill of health and any impact.” His concerns were met with applause from others.

Others argued that the expansion violated basic law and human rights. “I can assure you that you will not have a good life here as a municipal representative if you agree today,” they said.

Talk about protests

Despite ongoing protests and one of the most publicized parts of the potential expansion, local officials were not willing to comment. However, Mayor Arne Cristiani said he was grateful to local firefighters and other emergency responders for keeping things going.

Tesla presented at the meeting

Tesla CEO Riederer von Paar was on site to answer questions from politicians and local residents. One relates to vehicle storage/inventory and future capacity plans if expansion is approved. In addition, von Baar talked about using railways, which was one of the main parts of the expansion, rather than the typical logistics on the road.

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“We can also handle a million vehicles on the roads; “We want to do it by rail,” he said.

This work will be supplemented by 40,000 employees and perhaps 2 million units of annual capacity in the future. Von Baar stressed during the meeting that the current installed capacity still amounts to half a million vehicles per year.

Vote

There were 19 people who were able to vote. When deciding how to vote, they took into account more than 300 comments from local residents. There were two different votes: one for the urban development contract and one for the expansion itself.

11 out of 19 voted yes to the urban development contract. Mayor Cristiani voted in favor of the contract. The same number of 19 also voted for Tesla’s expansion, and Mayor Cristiani also gave a thumbs up.

Six members voted against the expansion, and two abstained from voting.

Special thanks to @Gf4Tesla On X for live coverage of the vote

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