While there have been forest walk demonstrations to raise concerns about Tesla’s Gigafactory 4, there’s a group of locals who will picket at Grunheide community park on Saturday to show their support for the electric vehicle manufacturer.
A certain Martin Hilderbrandt is organizing the demonstration aptly called “Grunheide for Future.” He is encouraging those who support the Tesla project to go to the park at 11 a.m. local time.
“A high number of Grünheide residents are happy about the development of Tesla becoming a part of this region and creating possibilities that are innovative and forward-thinking. We don’t want to build borders and obstacles for projects that can build up to a new future. We want to become an equal partner for Tesla to discuss the execution in detail and find sustainable ways to create a partnership where both worlds can benefit from each other and don’t act against each other,” the Facebook events page read.
On Thursday, Tesla opened an information center in the community in the hopes of opening a dialogue with local citizens. The minister of Economic Affairs of Brandenburg Jorg Steinbach welcomed the development as he hopes both parties will be open to dialogues.
The protesters, mostly from the environmental group Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) are primarily worried about the possible water issues that may arise. Tesla proposed to solve the issue by using a water pump but the locals are not too keen about the idea saying Elon Musk’s car brand will dry up the area and make it prone to forest fires.
The agriculture minister of the state Axel Vogel remained optimistic despite the protests in the past week
“The offer to compensate the pine forest to be cleared three times came from Tesla itself. Tesla’s offensive strategy should be style-setting for other projects. And overall, Tesla does not only want to build a CO2-neutral factory, but also to manufacture products that the German automotive industry has missed the time for 100 percent electrical,” Vogel said.
While there might be two opposing views among locals with regard to Gigafactory 4, what’s important is that all concerns of the community are addressed by Tesla while staying focused on the next steps so they can lay the first brick of its first car factory in Europe as scheduled. Amid all the demonstrations, workers at the Grunheide forest are busy clearing trees and preparing an access road to the build site.
The Gigafactory 4 is dealing with a tight timeline as Tesla wants to begin construction by mid-March, but the car manufacturer promised to solve all issues within legal framework and it has been coordinating with authorities and the local community to take care of even the tiniest creatures in the Grunheide forest where the factory will rise.
The Gigafactory 4 will create 12,000 jobs in Germany and nearby countries and will likely be a key element for the brand who wants to dominate the electric car market in Europe. The facility is expected to initially produce the electric crossover Model Y and targets to roll out 150,000 units during the first phases of production, and will eventually ramp up to 500,000 vehicles a year.