After missing the July 1 opening date, Tesla’s first European Gigafactory outside Berlin faces more setbacks as the local environmental authority is investigating the EV manufacturer for tanks it had built on the construction site without authorization, local daily Der Tagesspiegel reported.
The Environment Agency of the state of Brandenburg, where Berlin is located, inspected the site earlier this week after receiving a tip from environmental organizations Grüne Liga (Green League) and Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union, NABU.
Tesla’s Gigafactory outside Berlin was expected to open on July 1, but setbacks in construction authorization, environmental opposition to construction works, and concerns over the use of water in the area have delayed the start-up of the first European Gigafactory of the U.S. electric car manufacturer.
Red tape and environmental opposition to construction in the area where Tesla picked to build the Gigafactory have been hampering efforts to speed up the process.
During a visit to the site in May, Elon Musk told reporters “I think there could be less bureaucracy, that would be better.”
Tesla has been building the factory with provisional authorizations and had to re-submit applications for a facility that would make batteries.
Tesla’s Gigafactory in Berlin is expected to make the Model Y, and deliveries initially expected to begin at some point in 2021. Tesla had previously said that Model Y production in Berlin would begin sometime in the second half of this year.
In late April 2021, Tesla said in its Q1 update “In Europe, buildout of Gigafactory Berlin is continuing to move forward, with production and deliveries remaining on track for late 2021. Machinery for paint, stamping, castings, etc., continues to be moved into the building.”
Since April, environmental groups in Germany have filed a lawsuit against Tesla to stop the approval of applications, while another group claimed responsibility for setting power cables on fire near the construction site in May.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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