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Germany: Elon Musk visits Tesla factory after power sabotage

March 13, 2024

The Tesla CEO's visit coincided with the resumption of production at the plant after a power supply sabotage caused several days of downtime.

Elon Musk greets workers in front of a sign the reads ' the future'
Musk visited the Tesla plant along with his sonImage: Carsten Koall/dpa/picture alliance

Tesla CEO Elon Musk visited the electric car maker's Gigafactory in Grünheide, outside of Berlin, on Wednesday, nearly a week after the plant was forced to halt production after a suspected arson attack cut power lines supplying electricity.

Musk addressed thousands of employees on arrival at the site, saying: "I am here to support you." The Tesla CEO also accused  "ecoterrorists" of cutting the plant's power supply, as he defended Tesla's green  credentials.

Electricity to the plant was restored on Monday evening, and production resumed on Wednesday morning. 

"People are glad to be able to come back to work,"  employee council chief Michaela Schmitz told regional broadcaster RBB. 

Terrorism investigated 

Authorities in the state of Brandenburg, where the plant is located, have said they suspect that the pylon was deliberately set on fire

A far-left organization that brands itself the Volcano Group claimed responsibility for setting fire to an electricity pylon that serves the Tesla plant, along with thousands of residents, nearby hospitals, nursing homes and a big logistics center for a German grocery chain.

How new Gigafactories are staining Tesla's brand

Germany's federal prosecutors office took over the investigation into the incident, looking into charges of terrorism.

Environmentalists have been protesting against the expansion of the Tesla factory, which would require more than 100 hectares of forest to be cleared in Grünheide near a water protection zone.

Activists have set up a protest camp with tree houses very near to the factory, which police have announced they would only tolerate through this coming Friday

Arson attack shuts down Tesla's German plant

lo,ssa/wmr (AP, dpa, AFP)

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