Tesla Giga Berlin critics are taking another stand with some new legal action

Gigafactory Berlin (Credit: Tesla)

Fresh off their defeat at the Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Administrative Court (OVG) earlier this month, the Brandenburg Nature Protection Association (NABU) and the Green League are taking yet another stand against Tesla’s Gigafactory Berlin. This time, the environmental groups are complaining that their grievances against the EV maker’s facility were not given sufficient hearing by the higher court. 

The NABU and the Green League have taken issue with the fact that Tesla was granted an early approval last month that gave the company permission to conduct limited tests of Gigafactory Berlin’s production equipment, including the facility’s paint shop. The two organizations, which have strongly opposed the EV factory, protested against the new early approval, citing safety concerns. 

The NABU and the Green League’s efforts were effectively shot down by the administrative court of Frankfurt (Oder), which resulted in the organizations taking their complaints to the higher court. Unfortunately for the two groups, the Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Administrative Court (OVG) deemed their urgent motion inadmissible. The higher court issued its rejection of the NABU and the Green League’s efforts earlier this month while stating that its decision was final. 

In their new complaint, which was retrieved by local news agencies, the NABU and the Green League took issue with the fact that the higher court did not give them enough legal hearing. The groups further claimed that they had too little opportunity to present their arguments against Gigafactory Berlin. “The resolution of July 14, 2021, with which the Senate rejected the urgent motion of the applicants, violates the applicants’ right to be heard under Article 103, Paragraph 1 of the Basic Law in a decisive manner,” the complaint stated. 

Thorsten Deppner, the lawyer of the NABU and the Green League, explained the organization’s grievances further, particularly those surrounding Gigafactory Berlin’s early approvals. “The fact that the incorrect assumption of a positive approval prognosis is definitely relevant for environmental protection cannot be denied with the lack of legally binding effect of the approval of an early start for the approval decision. It cannot be overlooked that such approvals actually have a considerable influence on the approval decision,” the lawyer wrote

Despite the drama and the opposition against Giga Berlin, Tesla still seems quite optimistic about the upcoming facility. Elon Musk said as much during the recently-held second-quarter earnings call. “It’s surprisingly great work by the Giga Texas team and then also great work in Berlin-Brandenburg with the team there. So we expect to be producing the sort of new design of the Model Y in both factories in limited production later this year,” Musk said. 

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Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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