Another blow to Tesla’s European expansion

Mar. 5, 2024

Extrem dumm

Tesla halted production at its German manufacturing plant after a suspected arson attack by opponents of a major expansion of the facility, located about one hour’s drive southeast of Berlin. 

Local police said a far left activist group known as Vulkangruppe set fire to a high voltage pylon about 3–6 miles from the battery factory.  

At a press conference on Tuesday, Giga Berlin’s plant manager said production is unlikely to restart this week adding that financial losses due to the interruption would be in the “upper nine digits.” 

Elon Musk expressed his displeasure on X this way: 

These are either the dumbest eco-terrorists on Earth or they’re puppets of those who don’t have good environmental goals. Stopping production of electric vehicles, rather than fossil fuel vehicles, ist extrem dumm. 

Double capacity 

Tesla wants to double output of its soda-can sized 4680 cells at Giga Berlin, home of the bestselling Model Y, from the current 50 GWh per year.   

Nominally, nameplate capacity of 100 GWh would be enough to build more than 1.2 million vehicles based on Adamas data of the Texas-based company’s sales-weighted average battery capacity. 

In February residents of the nearby town of Grünheide, population 9,152, in a non-binding vote came out against the expansion of the facility due the need to raze parts of the surrounding forest.

Another blow to Tesla’s European expansion

Tesla takes first and second

Model Ys sold in Europe in 2023 captured 12% of the regional passenger EV market (including plug-in and conventional hybrids) in terms of battery capacity deployed.   

New drivers of the compact SUV steered a combined 19 GWh onto European and UK roads last year. Tesla’s Model 3, which had a long overdue styling refresh late last year, was second with nearly 7 GWh hitting roads on the continent.  

In total, more than 156 GWh of battery power were added to Europe’s electric car parc in 2023, 32% more than the year before.   



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