Tesla has found numerous areas surrounding Berlin where it will replace the trees that it will be cutting to make way for its European Gigafactory. The company found target regions in late January but has finalized several specific areas where it will begin planting replacement trees.
Tesla found space for trees in Brandenburg an der Havel (located 64 miles of Giga Berlin), Baruth/Mark (located 41.6 miles from Grünheide) and Bad Saarow (located 20.8 miles from the Giga Berlin site), according to both the Brandenberg Area Agency and local media outlet rbb24.
Tesla enthusiast @gigafactory_4 shared a photograph of a map that highlighted confirmed areas where trees from the initial 90 hectares of land from Giga Berlin’s tree removal process would be replaced. The map shows around 30 different areas where new trees will be planted.
We should observe these areas at first: pic.twitter.com/Dfdb0NsUf8
— Giga Berlin / Gigafactory 4 (@gigafactory_4) February 13, 2020
Local agencies suggest that half of the trees be deciduous. The trees that currently take up the property where Giga Berlin will eventually stand are of “inferior quality,” according to Grünheide Mayor Arne Christiani. Upon the announcement of the tree removal, Tesla stated it would replant three times as many trees as it is forced to remove. The company has been looking for areas suitable for new tree growth.
Crews began removing small trees in early January, but the full-fledged felling of larger trees started on February 13. Teams worked non-stop for two days, removing a considerable chunk of the low-quality trees from the property.
Unfortunately, the clearing was forced to come to a halt on Sunday after a German court ruled in favor of a complaint from the Green League of Brandenburg, a local environmentalist group. The court states they issued an immediate stop in tree clearing because it would have taken only three more days to remove the rest of the 90 hectares of trees from the area.
Lawmakers from both the Christian Democrat and Free Democrat parties warn the German court that long legal battles with Tesla over Giga Berlin could do long-term damage to the country’s reputation as a good place to conduct business, especially since the electric car maker’s impact on the region’s auto market could prove beneficial to the country’s economy as a whole. German Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier even stated: “If the plant does not come, it would be a damage for all of Germany.”
The German courts also warn that the complaint from the Green League is being taken seriously. “It should not be assumed that the motion seeking legal protection brought by the Green League lacks any chance of succeeding,” a statement from the court said.
Despite Tesla’s vocal plans to replace the trees three-fold and produce environmentally friendly cars in Germany, environmental groups have not let up.