Tesla Gigafactory Berlin expansion is voted down by locals

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Local residents of the municipality where Tesla Gigafactory Berlin is located have voted against the expansion of the factory.

Gigafactory Berlin is a massive factory operated by Tesla about an hour outside of Berlin, Germany.

It is located in the small municipality of Grünheide, Brandenburg.

Tesla is currently only producing Model Y vehicles at the plant, but it has been planning a massive expansion from the beginning.

The automaker submitted the plan for the expansion last summer:

However, not everyone has been on board with the project. From the get-go, locals and environmental groups have been opposing the project, especially over water supply concerns and the deforestation of the site.

Now, the local government held a vote to see if local Grünheide residents approve of the expansion. 70 percent of the residents voted, and Tesla was far from securing the votes (via Spiegel – translated from German):

The citizens of Grünheide near Berlin voted on the US electric car manufacturer Tesla’s plans to expand its factory premises – and the majority rejected it. As the municipality in Brandenburg announced, 3,499 residents voted against the expansion in a survey. 1882 voted for it.

Now, it’s not the end of the expansion as the vote is not binding, but it could make it more difficult for the plans to move forward as Tesla needs to secure the land from the municipality.

The vote was specifically about the new logistical area planned by Tesla on on an additional 170 hectares, which would require more than 100 hectares of forest to be cleared.

Electrek’s Take

Tesla’s experience in Germany has been less than smooth. There has been a lot of pushback, but Tesla has always been able to move forward.

To be fair, the company did adjust its plans when there were serious concerns, like with water usage.

However, it looks like the automaker could still do more to be better neighbors and get the Grünheide residents on its side.

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