Minister currently sees no reasons against building permits for Tesla


The construction work of the US electric car manufacturer Tesla for the first European factory in Grünheide near Berlin is in full swing – although the approval for it is missing. Brandenburg’s Economics Minister Jörg Steinbach (SPD) is confident that nothing stands in the way of a final environmental approval from the current perspective.

Environmental groups have tried several times to overturn early permits. But the construction work continued in sections. This Monday (July 19) the deadline for the public display of documents of Tesla’s amended application for construction ends. When the country will decide on the approval is open.

The Minister of Economic Affairs is confident. “From the point of view of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, no grounds for refusal for the approval are recognizable at the moment, provided that no unforeseeable events occur during the approval process,” Steinbach said on request. “Tesla has shown in the application process that everything will be done to remove obstacles to approval.” In his opinion, this has been proven in the past, for example, with reduced water requirements. Tesla had the amount of water required at the top – even after vehement criticism from environmentalists and local residents – lower.

The Naturschutzbund and the Brandenburg Green League recently failed with an urgent application against early approval before the Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg. The environmental associations had opposed tests of systems in the paint shop, foundry and body shop as well as the installation of tanks for wastewater treatment and the refueling system. The Brandenburg Ministry of the Environment assumes only small amounts of substances that are hazardous to water and significant in the event of an accident.

The environmentalists refer to an accident report, which means that they no longer consider a positive forecast for the approval to be possible. In their view, this means that one of the important prerequisites for early admission is missing. The state manager of the Brandenburg Green League, Michael Ganschow, sees the danger “that the location in the water protection area is not necessarily taken into account in the procedure”. He also criticizes that there are numerous blackened areas in the Application from Teslawith which the question of danger is unclear.

Tesla originally wanted to start production on July 1, but the process has been delayed due to a new application for the project – which also includes the planned battery factory. The company is now aiming for a start at the end of this year. 500,000 electric cars are planned per year.


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