BERLIN — Tesla plans to drill a new water source to supply an expansion of its electric car factory near Berlin, according to local authorities and the water association.
After facing opposition from environmental groups over the use of water after the factory was launched in March, Tesla is preparing to double the production capacity of its Grünheide, Brandenburg, factory from 500,000 to more than 1 million cars a year. and are trying to take matters into their own hands. Approval from local government.
At a city council meeting last week, Tesla representatives said the company would pay for exploratory drilling to update a decades-old public database of groundwater sources, according to Gruenheide Mayor Arne Cristiani, who attended the meeting. Stated.
A spokeswoman for the local environment ministry said Tesla is in contact with local authorities, but the application has not yet been submitted.
Mr Cristiani told Reuters it was unusual for a private company to carry out such tests on behalf of local governments, adding: “We have nothing against it.”
Even if automakers find new water sources, they must apply for a license to use them, said a local environment ministry spokesperson.
Still, some local politicians and environmental groups feared Tesla would insist on preferential access to new water sources if they found them, and the move would allow private companies to control public data. I am afraid to set a precedent.
“We know this company, they do what they want and they do the same with the water they find,” said Michael Ganshaw, head of the local environmental group Grüne Liga. I was.
“Water is a public good, exploration is a public business…This is a clear line,” the district manager of the neighboring Markisch Oderland told a local newspaper. everyday mirror.
Tesla did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
U.S. automakers have been lauded by some and scorned by others for breaking German convention from the start and paying up front to build factories before all licenses were secured. I did landscape.
Still, even with Tesla’s approval for exploratory drilling, multiple steps remain, including laying pipes from the new wells to the plant.
“It could take a very long time,” said Joachim Schroeder, head of Spleenhagen, one of the areas Tesla wants to explore.