The fire at the Tesla gigafactory in Berlin could be the final nail in the coffin for Musk’s German expansion plans.
A fire at Tesla’s German plant has prompted area residents to call for the factory’s operations to stop. The fire, which fortunately left no injuries, consisted of 800 cubic meters of paper, cardboard and wood. Although it was successfully extinguished, it took 50 firefighters to control it and it gives more ammunition to those who oppose the plant. It’s another black mark for the company’s first European factory, which has been plagued by controversies and obstacles.
While the facility at Gruenhide in Germany adds much-needed capacity to meet growing demand, bringing the German facility online has apparently created so many hurdles that it appears Tesla is not considering Germany for future new plants.
As reported by BloombergTesla recently outlined the criteria that will determine how it selects the location of its next plant, and a key point was “As little bureaucracy as possible,” which can be interpreted as a reference to Germany’s extremely strict regulations and their impact on queuing the Gruenhide installation.
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Following the plant’s announcement in 2019, the facility suffered months of delays due to legal challenges from environmental groups regarding excessive water use and threats to local wildlife. After navigating through those issues, Tesla recently ran into trouble with plans to expand the facility by approximately 100 hectares to add more space for parts storage and a freight yard, major needs in the current environment of necks. bottle in the supply chain. Local authorities in Gruenhide have indefinitely postponed voting on this plan and have stated that they need clarification from higher authorities.
Late last year, Tesla opted to forgo €1.14 billion ($1.12 billion) in state aid by opting to produce a new type of battery cell at facilities in Texas rather than Germany, which, according to some analysts, indicates dissatisfaction with the German bureaucracy. the Wall Street Journal it also reported earlier this month that the company was pausing plans for battery cell manufacturing in Germany and was considering shipping related equipment to the US.
Elon Musk has previously stated that the Austin and Gruenhide plants are “giant cauldrons of money” and that there are still a “huge number of problems” to work out at both locations, but the company’s recent actions indicate a greater willingness to allocate more in the direction of Texas, which could have negative long-term implications for the German facility.