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Elon Musk tries to ease Tesla Gigafactory Berlin concerns after protests

Elon Musk is trying to ease environmental concerns regarding Tesla’s Gigafactory Berlin after local protests over its potential water usage.

The CEO has now changed the nomenclature regarding Tesla’s Gigafactories. Instead of numbering them based on when they were established, Tesla will now call them by their location.

For example, Gigafactory 1 will now be called Gigafactory Nevada.

Last year, Musk confirmed that Tesla would build Gigafactory 4 in the “Berlin area”. which will make it ‘Gigafactory Berlin’.

The project will sit on a 300-hectare plot of land next to the GVZ Berlin-Ost Freienbrink industrial park, which Tesla is trying to buy for €40 million.

Musk said that Tesla will build “batteries, powertrains, and vehicles, starting with Model Y” at Gigafactory Berlin in Germany.

Over the last two months, the plan for the new factory has been gradually revealed through new construction plans and environmental assessments.

In order to build, Tesla is going to have to cut down a large number of trees. The section that needs to be deforested is shown in red below:

The company is expected to start the process soon and will be finished by the end of February.

Even though Tesla committed to planting three times as many trees as it is going to cut down, it is a controversial process due to the complex nature of the ecosystem.

As we previously reported, one issue is that the forest is home to many animals, and one of them is an endangered species of bat that Tesla is going to have to move.

The deforestation effort has also led to protests at the site earlier this month.

The protests have now extended to also cover the planned water usage of Gigafactory Berlin, which an environmental planning filing showed would need 372 cubic meters of water from the public drinking water network per hour.

The information was shared by the locals and sparked more protests.

Musk decided to address the issue on Twitter and said that it wouldn’t actually use anything close to that amount on average:

“Sounds like we need to clear up a few things! Tesla won’t use this much net water on a daily basis. It’s possibly a rare peak usage case, but not an everyday event.”

Furthermore, the CEO addressed the deforestation issue:

“Also, this is not a natural forest — it was planted for use as cardboard,”

He also added that Tesla Gigafactory Berlin will be built with sustainability in mind and will use renewable energy to build cars.

Tesla’s goal is to start production at Gigafactory 4 in July 2021.

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