Preparatory work for the Tesla Giga plant in the Berlin area can be continued less than a week after work had to be interrupted due to concerns from local environmentalists, Bloomberg reports. Yesterday, a court ruled that the local authorities had not circumvented the rules by starting to cut down trees in Tesla. The electric car company is currently cleaning up 92 hectares of forest in Gruenheide, east of Berlin, in preparation for the construction of its first European gigafabrica.
Any delay may have had a major impact on the Tesla schedule for the plant, as the breeding season for local wildlife starts next month. The Economy Minister of the region has argued that the forest must be cut down by mid-March, otherwise work threatens no less than nine months’ delay. Two-thirds had already been released before the work was stopped, according to Bloomberg. Tesla plans to have the plant in operation halfway next year.
Guene Liga Brandenburg, the local environmental group, had expressed concern about the project and said it could threaten the region’s water supply and put too heavy a burden on local transport infrastructure. Concerns were also expressed that tree felling should have started before the March 5 deadline for environmental groups to comment on the project.
Tesla’s Berlin Gigafactory becomes the fourth worldwide, alongside the existing Gigafactories in the US and China. Ultimately, the company hopes that its European factory produces no fewer than 500,000 cars per year and employs 12,000 people.