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Giga Berlin's Latest Update and 1st Ride With The New Shuttle Bus

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Tesla Giga Berlin reporter and enthusiast Jurgen took his first ride with the new shuttle bus 419 from the Fangschleuse train station to Giga Berlin and documented it in a video.

Jurgen says he was the only passenger in the bus as most people still take either company cars or do carpool to get to Tesla's first European Gigafactory. He says he usually walks to Giga Berlin from the station through the forest to make his drone videos, and it takes 30 minutes.

He says the bus was not electric.

Tesla is still not allowed to clear any forest areas on parts of its construction site in Grünheide (Oder-Spree district). The Upper Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg (OVG) partially accepted a complaint from the environmental organizations Nabu and the Green League on Friday.

The conservationists had appealed against a decision by the Frankfurt (Oder) administrative court, which had previously approved the felling of the trees. The Higher Administrative Court then stopped the clearing until it reached a decision on the complaint.

The Nabu and the Green League fear that the clearing of the approximately 83 hectare area will kill protected lizards and smooth snakes. They criticize that the area had not been sufficiently searched for the animals before the clearing. In their underground winter quarters, they would be easily crushed by the clearing machines.

There had already been a dispute over clearing on the Tesla site last winter when the first forest areas were cleared. The Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Administrative Court finally rejected the urgent applications from two environmental associations and Tesla was able to fell trees before the start of the growing season.

In an initial phase, the US automaker plans to build around 500,000 compact Model 3 and Model Y vehicles per year. The first vehicles are to be produced in the coming year. So far, the company has been building through individual provisional approvals and at its own risk, because the complete environmental approval of the state of Brandenburg is still pending. Conservationists and local residents fear negative consequences for the environment.

However, the construction work is currently suspended because the group lacks security services amounting to 100 million euros. Tesla should deposit it as a bank guarantee. About three weeks ago the State Environment Agency allowed the construction of the paint shop and the clearing as so-called "early measures". This means that Tesla must reverse both of these if the final approval for the entire project is not given. In order to secure this dismantling, the office asked for 100 million euros as a pledge.

Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded TorqueNews.com in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin and Youtube.