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Tesla is ordered to stop tree-clearing expansion at Giga Berlin over hibernating snakes

Tesla has been ordered by the court to stop clearing trees at Gigafactory Berlin in order not to disturb hibernating snakes.

While Tesla has received strong govermnent support for its project to build a massive electric vehicle factory outside of Berlin, the automaker has run into some issues with local environmentalist groups due to the need to clear a large part of the forest in Brandenburg in order to build the plant.

The automaker already cleared 90 acres, and it is committed to planting three times as many trees as it cuts down throughout the process.

Despite the commitment, environmental groups have been fighting the project, claiming that the deforestation would negatively impact the ecosystem.

During the first phase of deforestation, Tesla had to move endangered bats in order to proceed, but it was able to clear the trees and it has already built several buildings at the location.

Last week, Tesla had obtained approval to start clearing an additional 83 acres of forest to build other parts of the factory.

However, the court has now ordered Tesla to halt its deforestation effort.

The Brandenburg Nature Conservation Union (Nabu) and the Green League have filed a lawsuit to stop the process and the court ordered Tesla to temporarily stop the deforestation until they make a final decision.

The issue apparently revolves around lizards and snakes in the forest that Tesla were supposed to move before starting to clear trees.

Christiane Schröder, managing director of Nabu Brandenburg, commented to Tagesspiegel (translated from German):

The best possible protection of strictly protected animal species would have been part of solid planning. Although all experts know that even after two years of intensive fishing, it can hardly be ruled out that sand lizards and smooth snakes will be killed during such a construction project, it is claimed here that after two months you can be sure that you have caught all the animals is ‘completely impossible.’ In addition, this clearing permit covers areas that are not even part of the permit process. 

As we previously reported, Tesla Gigafactory Berlin is a very important step for Tesla since it’s going to enable the automaker to launch the Model Y in Europe.

Furthermore, Tesla plans to use its latest 4680 and structural battery pack technology for the first time at the new factory.

The automaker plans to start production in July 2021, but the automaker has recently been running into some issues.

Recently, we reported that Tesla fired “Mister Gigafactory,” the engineer in charge of Gigafactory Berlin project.

Last month, CEO Elon Musk went to Tesla Gigafactory Berlin to boost hiring effort and personally interview candidates.

He wants to build a team called “25 guns”: a 25-person Tesla engineering task force to fix Gigafactory Berlin.

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