Although Tesla has run into some speed bumps with German authorities in the past, the Government support behind Tesla and its Berlin Gigafactory has been surprisingly strong during its construction. However, the automaker has run into some issues with local environmentalist groups when looking to clear a large part of the forest in Brandenburg to continue with construction of the plant.
So far, 90 acres of the forest has already been cleared and Tesla has promised to plant three times as many trees as it cuts down during the clearing. However, Tesla’s promise is not enough for some environmental groups who are strongly opposing the clearing of the forest which, according to such groups, would negatively impact the ecosystem.
Tesla previously had to move endangered bats during the first phase of deforestation. The California-based company has cleared enough trees to build several buildings at the site already but obtained approval last week to continue clearing an additional 83 acres in order to build the parts of the factory. Soon after Tesla was ordered by the court to stop.
A lawsuit filed by the Brandenburg Nature Conservation Union (Nabu) and the Green League in order to halt the process. Tesla has since been asked to temporarily stop the deforestation until a final decision is made.
The main issue pertains to reptiles in the forest that were supposed to be relocated prior to the start of tree clearing. Managing director of Nabu Brandenburg, Christiane Schröder told Tagesspiegel (translated from German): The best possible protection of strictly protected animal species would have been part of solid planning. Although all experts know that even after two years of intensive fishing, it can hardly be ruled out that sand lizards and smooth snakes will be killed during such a construction project, it is claimed here that after two months you can be sure that you have caught all the animals is ‘completely impossible.’