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    Citizens vote against Tesla expansion


    100 hectares of forest would have to go
    Citizens vote against Tesla expansion

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    Tesla wants to expand its factory premises in Grünheide. A freight station, additional warehouses and a company kindergarten are planned. 100 hectares of forest would have to make way for the project. The residents voted against it. It's not binding, but it's still important.

    The US electric car manufacturer Tesla has encountered rejection from the citizens of Grünheide near Berlin with its plans to expand the factory premises. In a survey, 3,499 residents voted no, and 1,882 voted yes, as the community in Brandenburg announced.

    Tesla Tesla
    Tesla 173.20

    The community representatives of Grünheide still have to decide on the development plan. The vote in the citizen survey is not binding – but it is considered an important pointer. In addition to the existing 300-hectare factory site, Tesla wants to build a freight yard, warehouses and a company kindergarten on an additional 170 hectares. To achieve this, more than 100 hectares of forest will be cleared. Conservationists and citizens' initiatives are against the expansion. In addition to the forest to be cleared, they point out that part of the site is in the water protection area. Critics, but also supporters, made their views clear during the survey using flyers and posters.

    Brandenburg's economics minister speaks of an opportunity

    Tesla sees advantages for the region if the development plan were to go through. According to the car manufacturer, freight traffic could be relieved with the works station. It is also about more delivery security with storage space. Tesla recently had to suspend car production for around two weeks because parts were missing due to the uncertain situation in the Red Sea. Around 5,400 citizens voted in the survey. According to the community, participation was over 70 percent. All residents of Grünheide over the age of 16 who have lived in the community for at least three months were allowed to vote.

    Brandenburg's Economics Minister Jörg Steinbach also sees the rejection of the planned expansion as an opportunity. “It shows that people's concerns and fears clearly outweigh them,” he said. “Now it is important to find answers to open questions. I also see the voting result as a motivation for the community and Tesla to provide conceptual answers to the concerns that have not yet been resolved in the next few weeks and months.” With their large participation and vote, the citizens sent an important signal and made committed use of their democratic options for action.

    Tesla wants to build more cars in Grünheide in the future and expand the factory on the existing site. The company wants to double production capacity from the current target of 500,000 cars a year to one million. Around 12,500 employees currently work there, who recently produced 6,000 cars a week – that's the equivalent of 300,000 vehicles a year.

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