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Germany defuses WWII bombs at upcoming Tesla Gigafactory

January 26, 2020

Police told media that the ordnance was defused "without any problems." Tesla is planning on building its fourth Gigafactory on the outskirts of Berlin, although some groups are concerned about its environmental impact.

Area where Tesla will build its Gigafactory 4 on the outskirts of Berlin
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/P. Pleul

German authorities on Sunday said seven World War II bombs were defused safely on the outskirts of Berlin, where US electric automaker Tesla plans to build the first "Gigafactory" in Europe.

Police said the ordnance was relatively small. German authorities routinely discover unexploded ordnance from World War II. In this case, police said the bombs had been dropped by the US Air Force.

Read more: Planned Tesla Gigafactory in Germany drives wedge between locals

A police spokesman told DPA news agency that the operation was completed "without any problems."

Concerned locals

In November, Tesla chief executive Elon Musk announced plans to build a factory in Berlin in a move widely welcomed by unions and industry groups. Politicians hailed the location choice, saying it would bring new jobs to the area.

Not everyone was pleased though. Environmental groups have claimed the factory could create "extensive and serious problems with the drinking water supply and wastewater disposal." They have also claimed that part of a forest would be cut down to make way for the plant.

Read more: Will Brandenburg be Germany's biggest e-mobility hub?

REV - The Global Auto and Mobility Show

'The environment in mind'

But Musk took to Twitter on Saturday, saying it "sounds like we need to clear up a few things."

"This is not a natural forest — it was planted for use as cardboard and only a small part will be used for GF4," Musk said, referring to the Berlin plant's official name, Gigafactory 4. "Giga Berlin will absolutely be designed with sustainability and the environment in mind."

The company is planning to build up to 500,000 vehicles per year on a 300-hectare plot of land in Grünheide. The first vehicles will include Tesla's Model Y SUV and Model 3 sedan.

Read more: Opinion: Tesla's Germany plans are no coincidence

ls/rc (dpa, AFP)

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