German court allows Tesla to cut trees to construct Gigafactory 4

The electric carmaker aims to start manufacturing process in its German facility by 2021, producing 150,000 cars annually

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Tesla once again started cutting trees in Gruenheide, Germany on Friday, after a local court intervened and rejected a plea by environmentalists to stop local deforestation. Tesla has been clearing a large number of trees at Gruenheide, the proposed site for its fourth Gigafactory and the first in Europe.

Tesla has been facing severe resistance from German environmentalists since it started cutting trees at the proposed site. The electric carmaker has been working at jet speed to construct its factory in Germany, where it intends to start production at the earliest.

Relief for Tesla

Electric car

Tesla resumed cutting trees at its German factory site from Friday after a local court on Friday intervened and rejected a plea by environmentalists to stop felling trees for land clearing. The court said that it couldn't be appealed. The court's decision was welcomed by Tesla. The US electric carmaker said, "Tree clearance is proceeding in an orderly manner," Tesla said on Friday adding that no environmentalists are holding up the process further.

On February 15, the tree-cutting operation was halted following a complaint filed by environmental group Gruene Liga Brandenburg. Tesla plans to start build a factory and start production in Germany from 2021 and had been working at a rapid pace. However, legal loopholes allowed environmentalists to appeal for a halt in the tree cutting process till an environmental audit is done to gauge if the process could endanger any rare species.

Germany welcomes decision

Tesla Model 3
Tesla Model 3 Tesla

Germany's industry association BDI and economy minister Peter Altmaier also welcomed the court's ruling. Earlier, Germany's pro-business Christian Democrat and Free Democrat parties had said that such steps by environmentalist could damage the country's image as an investment hub in Europe. Also, the country's most prominent business lobby Federation of German Industries, welcomed the decision describing it as "an important signal for Germany as a site for investment".

In November, Tesla's chief executive officer Elon Musk had announced the company's plans of launching its fourth Gigafactory in Germany. This will also be its second factory outside the US and the first in Europe. The factory will produce both cars and batteries here and will create around 12,000 jobs. Tesla aims to manufacture around 150,000 electric cars in its German facility.

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