Tesla’s Controversial Factory Expansion Is Approved

The controversial expansion of Tesla’s only European Gigafactory was approved on Thursday, as the local council in the German municipality of Grünheide voted in favor of the carmaker’s plans to grow its facility near Berlin.

The majority of 19 council representatives supported Tesla’s plans to expand the factory. Eleven councilors voted in favor of the expansion, six voted against, while two abstained. The vote improves Tesla’s chances of being able to build more space for logistics, including a train station, although the company still has to secure the approval of local environment authorities. In July, Tesla announced plans to build 1 million electric cars per year at the site.

Around 50 protesters gathered outside the local government building as the result was announced, according to local reports. “It’s pretty disappointing,” says Esther Kamm, spokesperson for the anti-Tesla protest group, Turn Off the Tap on Tesla (TDHA), who watched the vote take place. She said the group would still try to stop the expansion by continuing to hold protests while exploring their legal options.

“It was a bad decision today, and this makes things harder, but it’s definitely not the end of the story.”

TDHA is just one of a wide alliance of environmental groups who oppose the expansion, claiming that the factory’s presence threatens to pollute local water supplies and describing the carmaker’s reputation as an environmentally friendly company as misleading.

Source : Wired