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Production stopped at Tesla's German factory after an arson fire

Production stopped at Tesla's German factory after an arson fire

American electric car maker Tesla was forced to shut down production on Tuesday at its European factory near Berlin due to an arson attack, the company and local authorities said.

A Tesla spokesman told Agence France-Presse: “In the early hours of this morning, power was cut off from the public network, possibly due to an arson fire, which led to the closure of production,” explaining that it had sent employees home and had not done so. Know when production can resume.

This “giant factory” was opened in 2022, and is Tesla's only factory in Europe. It produces the Model Y, the king of four-wheel drive electric car sales on the continent, and employs about 11,500 employees.

The regional government spoke of an “arson” that targeted an electricity pole near the site.

“Thousands of people have been cut off from basic supplies and are at risk,” he said in a statement, referring to an “act of sabotage.”

Local police said an investigation had been opened “on suspicion of arson.”

The factory site, located in the municipality of Gruenheide, a wooded area south of Berlin, has been criticized since Telsa applied to expand it by 170 hectares.

During a consultative vote organized by the municipality at the end of last February, residents expressed their opposition to the project and their concerns, in particular, regarding the large consumption of water in the “huge factory.”

Last Thursday, environmental activists began occupying a forest near the factory to object to the expansion plans.

They built tree houses to prevent any possible action.

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A police spokesman told AFP on Tuesday that police refuse to “speculate on a possible connection (of the fire, editor's note) to the camp.”

The expansion of the site, on which a final decision has not been made, aims to double production. Currently, Elon Musk's German factory manufactures more than 250,000 electric cars annually with a long-term goal of 500,000 units.