On Monday, October 23, 2023, Brandenburg’s State Office of the Environment rejected objections against Tesla’s plans to expand Gigafactory Berlin.
The meeting in the Erkner town hall covered the allegations local environmental associations had against Tesla’s expansion plans for Giga Berlin. The Green League Brandenburg and the Association for Nature and Landscape did not attend the meeting.
“The discussion is a farce,” said the state manager of the Green League, Michael Ganschow. “Of course, we cannot check how significant the changes are.”
Ganschow referred to Tesla’s application documents, which were partially blacked out. The partially redacted documents served as a basis for the hearing. The documents discussed Giga Berlin’s annual production capacity for electric vehicles and battery cells.
Tesla has since updated the documents due to its expansion plans. Tesla aims to increase its vehicle production capacity from 500,000 units per year to 1 million cars annually. It also wants to increase its battery cell production by 50 gigawatt hours to 100 GWh annually.
André Zschiegner led the meeting about Tesla’s Giga Berlin expansion. Zschiegner is from the State Office of the Environment. He stated that Tesla’s updates to its documents are legal.
Locals in the area have voiced concerns about the resources Tesla needs to increase production at Giga Berlin. In August, the Strausberg-Erkner Water Association (WSE) rejected Tesla’s Giga Berlin expansion plans. The utility provider provided three reasons for rejecting Tesla’s expansion plans, including its inability to provide the water volume required to increase production.
On the other hand, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) showed support for Giga Berlin’s production increase. In a public dialogue at Potsdam, Germany, Scholz noted how vital it is to retain companies in the country to maintain and expand prosperity.