Home » Tesla expects a shutdown for days after a suspected arson attack

Tesla expects a shutdown for days after a suspected arson attack

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Tesla expects a shutdown for days after a suspected arson attack

As of: March 5, 2024 5:58 p.m

The suspected arson attack on an electricity pylon in Brandenburg has devastating consequences for the Tesla factory. The factory is at a standstill for the time being and the company expects damage to reach several hundred million euros.

A power outage has brought the only European Tesla factory to a standstill. Elon Musk’s company is suspending production at the Brandenburg factory for at least this week.

After the fire on a power pole that caused the power outage, the police assume arson and are examining a letter of responsibility. The State Criminal Police Office began investigations. “We sabotaged Tesla today,” says a letter from the “Vulkangruppe,” which is classified as left-wing extremist. She accuses Tesla of “extreme conditions of exploitation” and calls for the “complete destruction of the Gigafactory.” The “volcano group” was already suspected of carrying out an arson attack on the power supply at the Tesla construction site in 2021.

Standstill with high damage

Production has been at a standstill since morning. The factory in Grünheide was evacuated early in the morning. The company does not expect production to be restarted this week, said plant manager Andre Thierig at a press conference scheduled at short notice.

Tesla is suffering economic damage in the high nine-figure range as a result of the production stop. The company is now unable to produce more than 1,000 vehicles per day. More than 12,000 employees cannot currently be employed. “We are deeply concerned about what happened here.”

Faeser: “Nothing can justify it”

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser strongly condemned the alleged arson attack. “Such an attack on our electricity infrastructure is a serious crime that cannot be justified by anything,” said the SPD politician. The investigation must examine whether there are political motives. “If a left-wing extremist motive is confirmed, then that is further evidence that the left-wing extremist scene does not shy away from attacks on critical energy infrastructure,” she explained.

Brandenburg’s Interior Minister Michael Stübgen also said: “If the initial findings are confirmed, it will be a perfidious attack on our electricity infrastructure.” That will have consequences, said the CDU politician. “Here, thousands of people were cut off from basic services and put in danger.”

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Musk: “Dumbest eco-terrorists”

Tesla boss Elon Musk expressed his anger in Portal “Stopping the production of electric vehicles instead of fossil fuel vehicles is extremely stupid.” The Tesla boss wrote the words “extremely stupid” in German.

According to the ministry, the perpetrators deliberately set fire to a high-voltage pylon in the region in the east of Brandenburg near Berlin early in the morning. The fire damaged the high-voltage line so much that the power supply to the surrounding towns and the nearby Tesla factory failed. The supplier Edis said that at least the supply to the surrounding communities has now been restored.

Protest camp at Tesla

There have been protests around the plant for days. Since Thursday, around 80 to 100 environmental activists have been occupying part of the state forest in Brandenburg near the factory, which Elon Musk’s company wants to clear in the event of an expansion of its site. The participating initiatives “Robin Wood” and “Tesla Stoppen” stated that they were not responsible for the alleged arson attack.

An activist from the “Stop Tesla” initiative sits on a tree house in a pine forest near the Tesla factory. According to their own statements, the activists wanted to support the residents’ resistance to an expansion of the industrial plant.

Nevertheless, the state government now wants to check whether it can reassess the protest camp after the attack. “This can also mean the end of toleration,” said Economics Minister Jörg Steinbach in Grünheide. Most recently it was said that the camp set up last week would initially be tolerated until mid-March.

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