In case you didn't know, there's a massive Tesla factory currently being built on the outskirts of Berlin. And, judging from a render posted today by CEO Elon Musk, it's going to look very nice. Musk also shared some details about the factory, though it's hard to say which parts are a joke and which are serious. These include a swimming pool and an "indoor/outdoor rave space" on the roof. Also, Musk confirmed that the solar panel-looking things on the roof are indeed solar panels.
BERLIN – Elon Musk's plan to build an electric car plant in Germany has run into legal trouble after a court said clearing a forest near Berlin for a new Tesla Inc. factory must stop immediately while it considers a challenge by environmentalists. The Berlin-Brandenburg higher administrative court issued an injunction against further construction after overturning a lower court ruling against environmental group Gruene Liga Brandenburg. The group is seeking to prevent Tesla from clearing more of the surrounding forest and the court said it will make a final decision on the complaint in the coming days. Tesla and the local government have already filed their response to the complaint and are now "relying on the prompt decision" of the court, Joerg Steinbach, spokesman for the regional government, said on Twitter. The injunction threatens Tesla's ambitious timetable of having the plant up and running from mid-2021.
Tesla's boss Elon Musk has said Brexit uncertainty played a role in the firm's decision to build its first European factory in Germany rather than the UK. The billionaire entrepreneur revealed that the firm's European battery plant would be built on the outskirts of Berlin. Speaking to Auto Express after making the announcement, Musk said: "Brexit [uncertainty] made it too risky to put a gigafactory in the UK." The US electric carmaker also plans to locate a research and development base in the German capital. Musk announced the Berlin decision at a car industry awards ceremony on Wednesday night hosted by the German tabloid Bild.
Tesla's colossal Gigafactory being built just outside Berlin could see construction halted again, but this time by an unlikely foe: hibernating snakes. First reported by Berlin's Tagesspiegel and then by Reuters, a German court has required Tesla to suspend all forest clearing at the 300-hectare site, located in Grünheide in Brandenburg, south-east of Berlin, due to concerns from environmentalists it could threaten local snakes in hibernation. "The Landesumweltamt (state environmental authority) and Tesla will now be consulted, they need to make submissions by this afternoon and then we assess the situation," a spokesman for the administrative court told Reuters. Mashable has reached out to both Tesla and the Landesumweltamt for comment. Local environmental group NABU told Reuters their main concern was for the smooth snake (Coronella austriaca), which they said hibernates in the ground, and could be disturbed by the deforestation onsite.