Tesla shuts down Gigafactory Berlin after suspected sabotage results in power outage

Tesla had to shut down Gigafactory Berlin today after a significant power outage that may have been caused by sabotage.

It has been a difficult couple of weeks for Tesla’s Gigafactory Berlin, the automaker’s only factory in Europe.

First, it had to halt production due to supply issues amid problems with cargo ships getting through the Gulf of Aden and the Bab al-Mandeb Strait due to the civil war in Yemen.

Then, it was the local residents of Grünheide, the municipality where Tesla Gigafactory Berlin is located, voting against the expansion of the plant, which requires more than 100 hectares of forest to be cleared.

On top of it, environmental activists set up camp in the forest outside the factory to try to stop the expansion last week.

Now, Tesla had to stop production and evacuate the factory today amid a potential sabotage of its power supply.

According to a report by DW, unknown people set fire to a high-voltage pylon between Steinfurt and Hartmannsdorf early on Tuesday morning – resulting in about 2,000 people losing power, including Giga factory Berlin.

The state of Brandenburg’s Interior Minister Michael Stübgen (CDU) spoke of a “perfidious attack” on the electricity infrastructure. 

No one claimed the attack yet, but Tesla is rumored to be the target based on the location of the attack and the timing as environmental activists have been calling for action against the company.

Tesla told local media in Germany that it secured the factory, but it’s not clear when it can restart production due to the power situation.

DW reported:

Tesla said all measures had been taken to secure the production facilities but that, after consultation with the electricity provider EDIS, the company did not expect production to restart quickly.

Tesla produces Model Y, the first electric vehicle to become the best-selling car in the world, at Gigafactory Berlin.

Electrek’s Take

As I said last week when the treehuggers set up camp at the expansion site, Tesla shouldn’t be at the top of your list if you are an environmentalist.

If it is, and if you are willing to go as far as setting fire to electrical infrastructure, I have to question your motive.

Tesla has addressed the two main concerns of environmental activists with the Giga Berlin project: water usage and deforestation. It has significantly reduced its water usage needs and committed to replanting more trees than it removes.

When it produces a new EV at the factory, that EV converts polluting gas mileage into cleaner electric mileage. This is a net positive.

Setting fire to high voltage pylons is a net negative.

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