It appears that the latest efforts of the Brandenburg Nature Protection Association (NABU) and the Green League against Tesla’s Gigafactory Berlin are unsuccessful once more. As confirmed by Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Administrative Court (OVG) spokesperson Christiane Scheerhorn, the higher court rejected the two environmental groups’ urgent action, which aimed to stop limited testing at Gigafactory Berlin.
Last month, Tesla was granted an early approval which gave the company permission to conduct limited tests of its production equipment. These include the Model Y production line and the paint shop, which is expected by CEO Elon Musk to be one of the most advanced in the market. The NABU and the Green League protested, citing safety concerns.
The administrative court of Frankfurt (Oder) rejected the complaints of the two environmental associations, and the organizations responded by escalating their complaint to the higher court. These efforts have now failed, with the OVG stating that the Brandenburg Nature Protection Association and the Green League’s urgent motion was inadmissible.
As per the Environmental Rights Appeal Act, the admissibility of an urgent motion requires the association to assert that it has been affected in its statutory area of responsibility, as noted in a Tagesspiegel report. In the case of the NABU and the Green League, this would be the protection of nature and the environment. Protests against Tesla’s limited equipment testing in the Giga Berlin complex were then inadequate to make the two agencies’ urgent motion valid.
The OVG has stated that its decision is final.
In a statement to local media, Brandenburg Economics Minister Jörg Steinbach (SPD) noted that he is optimistic about the higher court’s decision. “That shows how thoroughly and legally the State Office for the Environment works. If nothing unforeseen happens, I will stick to my hope of a start of production in the fourth quarter of 2021,” Steinbach said.
Tesla Gigafactory Berlin is pivotal to the company’s plans for the European region, with the facility expected to start its operations with the production of the Model Y, the company’s best-selling car to date. Initial estimates pointed to Giga Berlin starting operations in the latter half of 2021, but so far, the project is yet to secure its final approval. Tesla has thus been building its Germany-based electric car factory through preliminary permits.
Amidst the continued opposition from organizations like the NABU and the Green League, however, the progress of Gigafactory Berlin has slowed down. This has resulted in Tesla seemingly adapting by exporting the Made-in-China Model Y to Europe from Gigafactory Shanghai instead.
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