Daily Management Review

Tesla Is Stealing Germany’s Water, Claim Local Protesters


Germans seem to be divided in opinion over Tesla’s proposal to build giga-factory for its EV manufacturing in Germany as protesters claim of draining depleting water reserve and affecting wildlife.

Last month, nearly two hundred fifty Germans gathered in the outskirts of Berlin where Tesla, the electric vehicle manufacturer, is planning to construct a giga-factory and held a protest against the same. The protesters claimed that the factory will “endanger water supply and wildlife in the area”.
The above-mentioned plan of the U.S. auto manufacturer was announced in November 2019, as a move to build its “first European car factory in Gruenheide, in the eastern state of Brandenburg”. The proposal, however, was welcomed by unions, industry coalitions and politicians as they see it as an opportunity to augment job offering. Although, environmental concerns turned hundreds of locals against the development.
Protesters claimed:
“We are here, we are loud, because Tesla is stealing our water”.
The protest came following a warning from a “Brandenburg water association” which stated that the factory could introduce “extensive and serious problems with the drinking water supply and wastewater disposal”.
According to a twenty seven years old environmental activist, Anne Bach, Tesla’s plans revealed that the proposed factory would require over three hundred cubic meters of water on an hourly basis. This means the factory will drain out the water reserves of the area which are already in their decline. In Bach’s words:
“I am not against Tesla ... But it’s about the site; in a forest area that is a protected wildlife zone. Is this necessary?”
While, a member of “Citizens’ Initiative Gruenheide against Gigafactory”, Frank Gersdorf said:
“In such an ecological system like the one here and with the background that climate is changing, I cannot understand why another location was not selected from the beginning”.
Germany has had precedents when protests from environmentalists had “halted and delayed major companies’ plans”; in fact one such example of “anti-coal protests” is “RWE’s lignite mining at the Hambach forest, near Cologne”.
Furthermore, the protest also highlighted the extent of deforestation that has taken place within 300 hectares for building the said factory got people thinking about its impact on “on wildlife, including birds, insects and bats”. Additionally, the prospect of “enormous” increase traffic in the neighbourhood has also become an issue among the protesters.
Nevertheless, besides the protesters, some twenty people came out in support of Tesla with banners that read:
“We are here, we are loud, because Tesla is building our future.”