In a setback to Tesla, a German court has ordered the electric vehicle manufacturer to stop clearing forest land for the factory. The factory that will come up near Berlin will be Tesla’s first European vehicle and battery factor. The decision to halt cutting of trees is being hailed as a victory for environmental activists. The court’s order came following a complaint by Brandenburg-based Green League, a group working to raise awareness about a better environment. As per reports, the US electric vehicle maker would have cleared the area in three days and then there would not have been a point to hear the complaint. Tesla had announced in November last year its plan to build a Gigafactory in Grünheide which is in the eastern state of Brandenburg.
The higher administrative court of the states of Berlin and Brandenburg passed this order following a clearance by state environmental officials to clear 227 acres of forest for the Gigafactory. Green League in its complaint said that clearing that much area of the forest could have a negative impact on wildlife and drinking water. This might just be a temporary halt but it highlights the fact that electronic vehicle producers need to strike a balancing act. Elon Musk’s company hopes to pay back to the environment by replacing cars run by gas with electric vehicles. But it will have to take measures that would be enough to convince environmental activists and others that it would not harm the planet.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that the planning permission has not yet been granted to Elon Musk to build the Gigafactory. It means Tesla is preparing the ground at its own risk. But there are pro-business groups that feel the ruling will present a negative image of Germany. “Court order against Tesla’s Gigafactory will have long-lasting damage on the country’s image as a place to do business,” some lawmakers said. Tesla has already built two Gigafactories, one in the United States and the other one in Shanghai, China.