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According to the Brandenburg state government, Tesla submitted the missing documents for the approval process. “At the end of the 50th calendar week (December 13-19), the outstanding documents and information were received that are the prerequisite for a decision on the Tesla application,” said a spokesman for the Environment Ministry of the German Press Agency. These documents are now being checked by the State Office for the Environment and the Lower Water Authority of the Oder-Spree district, among others. “A date for the decision can therefore not be given.”
Brandenburg’s Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke (SPD) is asking for patience. “I’m optimistic, but we shouldn’t stumble in the last few meters either,” he said. “It is now important that we continue to do everything we can with the necessary patience to allow the approval process to continue professionally. We rely on, but above all on Tesla itself, that a legally secure approval is available at the end of the day.” It is of no use if the approval in the end fails in part or in whole in court. Tesla has shown a “huge speed” so far, which has demanded all sides. “Two years ago there were smaller pines on the area that is now being used as a car and battery factory.”
The head of government is pushing for faster approvals. “We urgently need an acceleration of the approval process in the way that it was 30 years ago in the East German states,” said Woidke. “To this end, the length of the procedures in the authorities and the number of legal bodies to which objections can be lodged against the projects must be clearly limited.” He warned: “If we now accept” business as usual “in the expansion of renewable energies, in the construction of transmission networks and in the expansion of rail connections, we will not be able to ensure climate neutrality and prosperity.” In the coalition agreement, the SPD, Greens and FDP have agreed to speed up planning and approval procedures.
Tesla boss Elon Musk had hoped that the first cars in Grnheide could roll off the production lines in December 2021 at the latest. Vehicles are already being produced there, but through internal tests. According to Tesla, the start of mass production was always planned for 2022. So far, the company is building its factory through several early approvals. In Brandenburg, the green light is generally expected, even if there might be conditions, because the basics for early approval include a positive forecast for the entire project.
Naturalists fear negative consequences for the environment and drinking water. Tesla had dismissed the concerns. The environmental association Grne Liga Brandenburg sees several questions unanswered. The classification of the waste according to the Waste Catalog Ordinance and the accident ordinance does not appear to be conclusively clarified, said state manager Michael Ganschow. It is not known whether there is a discharge permit for the waste water from battery production. In addition to unanswered questions about the seepage of rainwater, an illegal use permit under water law could also mean that the water supply for Tesla is not secured. Proceedings are pending before the Frankfurt (Oder) administrative court.
Tesla is recalling almost half a million cars
Tesla is recalling almost half a million vehicles in the United States due to possible safety-endangering defects. All cars in the “Model 3” series that were built from 2017 to 2020 are affected. According to the NHTSA website, there are 356,000 vehicles. In addition, according to information dated December 21, there are 119,000 “Model S” cars from 2014 to 2021 due to the risk of the bonnet opening unexpectedly if a locking mechanism were released. This could “obstruct the driver’s view and increase the risk of accidents.” Several media had previously reported on the callbacks on Thursday.
The number of cars that have now been recalled roughly corresponds to the number of all cars Tesla will deliver worldwide in 2020. Tesla had recently made whopping profits in the billions and also had sales rise sharply. Star entrepreneur Elon Musk’s group is currently building its first European factory in Grnheide near Berlin.
In NASDAQ trading, Tesla shares fell 1.46 percent to $ 1,070.34.
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