Tesla has to deal with treehuggers camping in the Gigafactory Berlin forest

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Tesla is now having to deal with literal tree-hugging activists camping in the forest to prevent the Gigafactory Berlin expansion.

Gigafactory Berlin hasn’t been a frictionless project for Tesla. The automaker has faced strong opposition and, surprisingly, primarily from environmentalists.

Their main issues have been the deforestation needed to build the factory, and now the factory expansion, and the water usage.

Tesla has done its best to address their issues by greatly adjusting its water usage at the plant and replanting more trees than it cut down, but it’s not enough for some.

Last week, we reported that the local residents of Grünheide, the municipality where Tesla Gigafactory Berlin is located, have voted against the expansion of the plant, which requires more than 100 hectares of forest to be cleared.

Now, an environmentalist group, Robin Wood, is entering the fight. Activists have been building campsites within the trees where more deforestation is planned:

In protest against the planned expansion of the Tesla factory in Brandenburg, activists from a broad alliance occupied the pine forest near the Tesla factory in Grünheide (Oder-Spree district). Activists from ROBIN WOOD are also on site today and have attached a wooden platform in one of the treetops under the motto “Forest instead of monster factory” where climbers can linger. They are demanding that Tesla and those responsible in the municipality, state and federal government do everything they can to stop the expansion and promote a climate-friendly mobility transition.

They posted on X:

Interestingly, based on their pictures, it looks like they set up camp in a managed forest and not a natural one.

The Gigafactory expansion is primarily for a new logistical area that will support the growing need of the factory that produces electric vehicles.

Electrek’s Take

If you are an environmental activist, I don’t think Tesla should be high on your hit list. Yes, I get that it’s never fun to see deforestation, but Tesla has so far stayed true to its promise to plant more trees than it cuts down.

Now, I know that it’s not as simple as that, but it looks like Tesla is taking its reforestation effort seriously.

When I see environmental groups going after projects that will have a net positive impact on the environment, I always fear that there are some dark forces at play trying to pit people against each others while they do their real negative impact stuff.

We have seen fossil fuel interest in the past backing environmental groups. It wouldn’t be new, but I don’t have any indication of that here. For all I know, Robin Wood is well-intentioned, but I think that they would be better off working with Tesla to have a better local environmental impact.

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