As Tesla awaits final approval from Giga Berlin, critics reiterate water supply issues
Tesla’s Gigafactory in Berlin is ready to go, with the facility producing pre-production Model Ys for the past few weeks. While the massive plant still awaits final approval, some of Giga Berlin’s critics have reiterated concerns about the electric vehicle plant’s water consumption.
Elon Musk has been asked about Giga Berlin’s water usage in the past. While he said last August that water is “everywhere” in the region, the CEO also noted in 2020 that Tesla would be willing to take any advice that would help the electric vehicle factory optimize its water consumption. water.
“The factory is simply not a big water user per square metre. It’s, you know, over the course of the year, per square meter, it’s not very intensive water use, and we’ll recycle as much as humanly possible. I’m quite confident that it will be the most environmentally friendly factory in the world.
“And that’s what it’s all about. And so anything we can do to make it better for the environment, we want to do, because that’s the mission of the company. So if anyone has any advice, we’re very open to criticism and advice on what we can do better. So let us know,” Musk said.
Despite this commitment, critics of Giga Berlin have so far been convinced that there is not enough water in the region to accommodate the electric vehicle production facility. A legal challenge is set to go to court next week, and local authorities have acknowledged that the water supply may not be sufficient once the facility ramps up.
Irina Engelhardt, head of the department of hydrogeology at the Technical University of Berlin, described the problem. “Tesla will definitely increase the problem. There may not be enough water for everyone,” Engelhardt said.
Brandenburg’s Economics Minister Joerg Steinbach, a strong supporter of the Giga Berlin project, also acknowledged that the upcoming electric vehicle installation will consume more water when expanded. “The current water supply is sufficient for the first stage of the plant,” Steinbach said, adding that when Tesla rolls out expansions to the site, “we will need more.”
Giga Berlin was built at a fairly rapid rate, but there were noticeable delays in its rollout. This is partly due to Tesla’s additions to the project, as well as the bureaucracy involved in obtaining final approval for the installation. So far, Giga Berlin has only gotten approval to produce pre-production Model Ys that cannot be sold to the public. By comparison, Gigafactory Texas, which is larger and started construction later than Giga Berlin, appears on track to begin shipments of the Made-in-Texas Model Y before the end of the first quarter.
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