German Authorities Probing Tesla Site After Chemical Tanks Erected Without Approval

The red tape for Tesla to build in Germany is just not letting up. On Friday morning, German authorities were on-site, conducting a “major” inspection of Tesla’s Gigafactory that’s currently being built in Gruenheide, German publication Tagesspiegel reported.

Even better: The inspection is taking place as a result of discovering that the “green” automaker erected chemical tanks without necessary permission, according to the regional environmental ministry. The tanks have yet to be connected or filled with anything. 

The purpose of the inspection is to try and now determine whether or not Tesla has flouted other regulations throughout the process of building its factory. 

It is just the latest in a long line of red tape that Tesla has faced in trying to get its factory up and running in Germany. The process of building has been the opposite of what it was for Tesla in Shanghai, when the company announced plans to build and somehow magically had their facility up and running in about a year. 

Meanwhile, delays in Germany mean the company’s factory likely isn’t going to be up and running until 2022. 

In Germany, Tesla has also grappled with environmentalists, including the Green League and NABU, who officially filed complaints against the company, looking to block provisional approvals necessary for the construction of the Gigafactory last month. 

Recall, in February, Tesla was ordered by a German court to stop cutting down trees to make space for its factory.

Then, we noted in May that the factory could be delayed due to legal woes lodged by environmentalists. Since announcing plans for expansion in 2019, Tesla’s proposed factory in Berlin has been “torpedoed by environmental regulations, unexploded WW2 bombs and labor laws,” according to the The Daily Mail. 

Among the other environmental roadblocks the company faces are controversies with removing trees and animal habitats, as well as the company having to remove bomb shells from the construction site. 

Tesla was also recently been dropped from a sustainability ETF in Australia specifically, among other reasons, due to environmental concerns surrounding the building of its Gigafactory in Germany. Australian fund manager BetaShares dropped Tesla because of “ethical failures” on the part of Tesla.

The fund’s manager noted: “German media reports that Tesla’s factory in Brandenburg will consume about 3.6 million cubic metres of water per year, which is roughly around 30% of the total water in the region. Some experts believe this will lead to restrictions on drinking water.”


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