Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Elon Musk has been a harsh critic of Russia and the country’s leader Vladimir Putin. Musk’s distaste for the Russian president is so deep that the Tesla CEO has even gone so far as to challenge Putin to hand-to-hand combat.
Besides tough online rhetoric, Musk has also been playing an important role in helping Ukrainians on the ground. Through his space venture, SpaceX, and the company’s Starlink satellites, Musk has been providing internet access to Ukrainians cut off from the world by the Russian forces.
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Just today, it was also revealed in the short time since the start of the conflict, SpaceX has donated 3,667 Starlink terminals worth $10 Million to provide internet access in Ukraine.
In addition, after Russia banned the sale of its rocket engines to the US, Musk has stepped in and offered SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket to mitigate any constraint on America’s access to space.
Given all this, one would assume the Tesla CEO would do anything in his power to make sure none of his ventures are supporting the Russian government. However, today it was revealed Tesla’s newest gigafactory in Germany, Giga Berlin uses Russian gas to power some functions in the factory.
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Melting and drying furnaces at Giga Berlin have been specifically pointed out as relying on Russian gas to function. Several Twitter users have been reaching out to Musk for a response however, the Tesla CEO has yet to respond.
In Tesla’s and Musk’s defense, Germany is heavily dependent on Russian gas imports. Meaning, that any company in Deutschland using gas will inevitably be purchasing it from Russia.
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Currently, there is talk in the German parliament to ban Russian gas imports. This ban will not affect infrastructure and home projects which are deemed essential. However, the auto industry, including Tesla’s Brandenburg gigafactory will be forced to shut down.
Considering the billions of dollars of investment Tesla put into Giga Berlin and the factory’s potential to permanently reduce dependence on fossil fuels through the production of hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles a year, it’s certainly a difficult call to decide Giga Berlin to shut down.
As of now, there doesn’t seem to be an easy solution to the problem. Musk has also yet to respond to Giga Berlin’s Rusian gas dependency criticism. However, we will be sure to keep you posted if we get further information. Until then, make sure to visit our site torquenews.com/Tesla regularly for the latest updates.
So what do you think? Disappointed Tesla is helping the Russian government by purchasing gas for Giga Berlin? Do you think Musk should shut down the plant until an alternative gas source is found? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Image: Courtesy of Tesla
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Tinsae Aregay has been following Tesla and The evolution of the EV space on a daily basis for several years. He covers everything about Tesla from the cars to Elon Musk, the energy business, and autonomy. Follow Tinsae on Twitter at @TinsaeAregay for daily Tesla news.