Tesla factory construction halted in Germany over lizards and snakes

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Tesla has cut down a pine forest to build its first plant in Europe in Brandenburg, Germany, but work has been suspended by an environmental authority in the country and will not be able to resume until the US company proves that its work does not affect snakes and lizards hibernating in the area, according to Germany’s Tagesspiegel .
The postponement is the second victory for environmental organizations in Germany. Earlier, Tesla was forced to give in to activists’ demands and agreed to reduce water consumption at the new plant by more than a third.
The delay in building the factory could push the start of production of Tesla cars in Europe to the end of next next year, or even beyond. The company aims to produce electric cars in Germany from July 2021.
Time is running out for Tesla in Europe. Carmakers in the region, including Volkswagen and Audi, are now selling battery-powered electric vehicles that compete with Tesla’s most popular models, including the VW ID.3 and Audi e-tron.
While Tesla has managed to build a new vehicle assembly plant in Shanghai in less than a year, the company faces a stricter regulatory environment in Germany. While the company had widespread political support in Germany, it also faced significant opposition from environmental activists concerned about the plant’s water consumption and the impact on the Brandenburg ecosystem.
Tesla is also facing the demands of Germany’s 2.3 million-member carmakers’ union, IG Metall. In November 2019, when CEO Elon Musk announced plans to build a car plant in Germany, he praised German technology.
“Everyone knows that German technology is remarkable, for sure. This is one of the reasons why we are establishing our European factory in Germany. We will also create an engineering and design center in Berlin, because Berlin has some of the best arts in the world,” Musk said.
On Tuesday, Tesla said in documents submitted to regulators that it wants to attract up to $5 billion in the third share offer launched on the market in 2020, in part to support its expansion plans.
Title image: The Tesla factory under construction in Germany. (source: Tesla Fanclub Europe)

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