Skip to main content

Tesla Giga Berlin Hearing Begins with Provocation

Yesterday the much anticipated public meeting took place in the town of Erkner, not from Tesla Giga Berlin, in which Tesla even had to answer who pays for dismantling Giga Berlin if the final permit doesn't come.

Two days ago in Fremont, California, Tesla presented its hotly anticipated battery plans on Tuesday evening, but there was another public Tesla appointment a good 12 hours later in Erkner, Germany, which began far less pleasantly: the mandatory discussion of objections to the Gigafactory, Tesla is building not far from it in Grünheide, Brandenburg.

Tesla Giga Berlin is supported by a broad coalition from the federal government to the local mayor, but like everything else, it also has opponents. And they used the opportunity on Wednesday to clearly express their rejection again.

Later in the afternoon, the discussion revolved around the provisional building permits issued to Tesla by the State Environment Agency. Members of the citizens' initiative asked for guarantees for the dismantling of already built plants in the event that no permit is obtained. Both representatives from Tesla and the State Environment Agency assured that there were workable agreements.

The hearing on the settlement of the US carmaker Tesla goes into the second round on Thursday in the town hall in Erkner (Oder-Spree). Objectors to the planned factory in nearby Grünheide have the opportunity to present their concerns to the approval authorities and Tesla representatives.

According to RBB, on the second day, significantly fewer objectors and representatives of the press came to the discussion. With around 70 people, there are only half as many as the day before.

After a tough start on Wednesday, which was mainly about procedural issues, questions of content are now being discussed: In the morning, Ulrich Stock, chairman of the meeting from the State Environment Agency, opened the controversial item on the water supply agenda. Many Tesla critics fear that the factory construction and subsequent operation could mean serious long-term damage to the groundwater and the drinking water supply in the region. The local water board had also noted several times that the water could become too scarce in the future to supply the factory and newcomers. Questions about forestry are also on the program.

On Tuesday, the members of the association agreed on a water supply contract that should at least be sufficient for the first expansion stage of the factory that has been planned so far.

Third round not excluded either
The public hearing in Erkner is an important milestone in the approval process for Tesla. How long critics and applicants will continue to discuss here is not foreseeable. Those responsible assume that the hearing will be extended to Friday. A total of 406 objections were submitted in the approval process for the Tesla factory.

The construction of the Tesla factory near Grünheide has so far only been carried out with provisional permits. The plant is expected to produce up to half a million electric cars a year from next summer.

Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded 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.