Tesla production halted at Giga Berlin after substation fire, arson suspected

Credit: Tesla Manufacturing/Facebook

Tesla Giga Berlin was forced to halt operations on Tuesday following a suspected arson attack on a nearby power substation. A left-wing extremist group has claimed responsibility for the attack. 

The fire broke out early on Tuesday morning in the Steinfurt substation, which was near the Tesla plant. The attack resulted in Giga Berlin losing power and halting vehicle production. Employees were later evacuated from the site, as confirmed by a Tesla spokesperson to Reuters

It was not just Giga Berlin that lost power due to the attack on the substation. As noted in a B-Z report, the Berlin districts of Rahnsdorf, Wilhelmshagen, and Müggelheim, as well as the Brandenburg towns of Erkner, Gosen-Neu-Zittau, Woltersdorf, and the Grünheid districts of Fangschleuse and Freienbrink were also affected by the attack. Some facilities in the Freienbrink industrial area, which is close to Giga Berlin, were also forced to stop operations. 

Local authorities are currently investigating the incident, which Brandenburg police believe to be an act of arson. This was partly due to authorities finding a tent belonging to alleged eco-activists that was placed close to the site of the attack. The tent had a warning sign stating that explosive ordnance was buried in the area. 

A group identified by German authorities as left-wing extremists, the “Vulkan Group,” has claimed responsibility for the attack. The group stated, “We sabotaged Tesla today” as a form of protest against the American car manufacturer. The group also noted that its aim is the “complete destruction” of Giga Berlin.

“We sabotaged Tesla today. Because Tesla in Grünau eats up earth, resources, people, labor and spits out 6,000 SUVs, killing machines and monster trucks per week. Our gift for March 8th is to shut down Tesla. Because the complete destruction of the Gigafactory and with it the sawing off of ‘technofascists’ like Elend (Elon) Musk are a step on the path to liberation from patriarchy,” the group wrote in a letter that was posted on kontrapolis.info.

The attack on the power substation has received widespread criticism. Brandenburg Interior Minister Michael Stübgen (CDU) referred to the incident as a “malicious attack” on the area’s electricity infrastructure. He also noted that there would be consequences for the attack.

“If the initial findings are confirmed, this will constitute a malicious attack on our essential electricity infrastructure. Such an act will have consequences. Thousands of people have been deprived of basic services and potentially put at risk. The constitutional state will respond to this act of sabotage with the utmost severity,” the minister noted. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk also commented on the incident. “These are either the dumbest eco-terrorists on Earth or they’re puppets of those who don’t have good environmental goals. Stopping production of electric vehicles, rather than fossil fuel vehicles, ist extrem dumm,” Musk wrote in a post on X.

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Tesla production halted at Giga Berlin after substation fire, arson suspected
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