The location of the US electric car maker Tesla in Grünheide (Oder-Spree) has come another step closer, according to the Brandenburg State Chancellery.
The management board of the company has approved the purchase contract with the state of Brandenburg to acquire the approximately 300 hectare property, as government spokesman Florian Engels announced. Tesla plans to build its factory on the site. The finance committee of the Brandenburg state parliament had already approved the purchase contract.
In Grünheide near Berlin, initially 150,000 Model 3 and Y electric cars are to be built annually from summer 2021, after expanding up to 500,000 vehicles a year. The purchase price for the forest area near Grünheide (Oder-Spree district) had been estimated by the Landesbetrieb Forst to be just under 41 million euros, but another independent report is still pending. The final purchase price should be adjusted to the result of this second appraisal if there is a different property value.
The area designated as an industrial area is currently being examined for weapons from the Second World War. According to the State Chancellery, US duds are most likely there. The municipality of Grünheide therefore prohibited anyone from entering the site.
The settlement of Tesla in Grünheide is controversial among citizens. According to police, around 200 people in the community demonstrated against the settlement of the US company on Saturday – more participants than expected. According to the police, a demonstration against the planned factory with up to 100 participants had been registered. “No large factory in the forest” and “Secretly negotiated – environment changed” was on posters. Among other things, the citizens protested against the clearing of the forest for the large area on which the factory is to be built. Also on Sunday, according to a report by the “Märkische Oderzeitung”, about 80 people demonstrated on a walk in the forest against the car manufacturer’s settlement.
Around 30 people took part in another demo for the Tesla settlement in the community on Saturday, the police said on request. According to the organizers, however, there were around 50 participants, including numerous families with children. Banners read “Elon, I want a car from you” or “Design instead of preventing.” Some residents from the region came with their Tesla vehicles.
Anke Kranhold, whose family has lived in Grünheide for four generations, was also among the supporters of a Tesla settlement. “I myself have sons and two daughters-in-law who are engineers, maybe in the future they will have the chance to cycle to work instead of commuting to Berlin,” said the 46-year-old on Saturday to the German Press Agency.
“Why does everything have to go so holterdiepolter,” said a Tesla opponent to a dpa reporter in Grünheide. It all happens too quickly. Another demonstrator added: “A billionaire is coming from the USA and waving his banknotes and suddenly everything is possible in Brandenburg”. The opponents of the construction of the Tesla factory fear, among other things, that the drinking water supply could be at risk. The site of the planned factory is in a drinking water protection zone.
When a train of Tesla opponents passed the supporters, there were brief verbal conflicts. Both sides insulted each other. The police were on site with numerous emergency services. The situation then calmed down again.
Brandenburg’s Minister of Economics Jörg Steinbach (SPD) expressed incomprehension for the Tesla skeptics in the “Märkische Oderzeitung” (Saturday). The willingness to support changes is not everywhere, he told the newspaper. “We have a great persistence mentality”. People wanted their children to stop moving for good jobs. According to Steinbach, there should be good jobs at home – but not in the form of a factory, not on your own doorstep. So far, he has largely felt the reactions of the population in Grünheide to be very constructive, the minister said.