Tesla evacuates Giga Berlin, shuts down production after arson attack causes power outage

Tesla’s Gigafactory Berlin was evacuated and production brought to a standstill early on Tuesday following an arson attack on a nearby electricity pylon, cutting off power to the factory and the surrounding area.

A letter claiming responsibility for the act has been posted online, with a far-left militant group self-identified as the “Volcano Group,” describing the attack as a symbolic gesture against Tesla’s environmental impact, coinciding with International Women’s Day on March 8.

The letter criticized Tesla for consuming “earth, resources, people, workers” and producing thousands of vehicles weekly, which they ironically labeled as “killer cars and monster trucks.”

Brandenburg Interior Minister Michael Stuebgen described the attack as “perfidious” and highlighted the broader implications of such actions on public safety and infrastructure, adding that local authorities will take action against those responsible for the arson attack.

Tesla also responded to the attack on Giga Berlin, saying the safety of their employees at Giga Berlin was their top priority, and confirming that no one was injured in the attack. Tesla said they hope to restart full production at the facility as soon as possible, but based on the latest reports it sounds like that won’t happen until Monday, March 11, 2024.

The attack on Giga Berlin comes as Tesla seeks to expand the factory, a move which has been met with mixed reactions, resulting in environmental protests and local resistance. The company plans to double its production capacity to 1 million cars per year, but local residents recently voted against the expansion which would require a large area of trees to be cleared.

Environmental activists have built treehouses in the nearby forest to protest the expansion.

This is the second time Tesla has had to shutdown production for an extended period at Giga Berlin this year. The first time was due to the attacks in the Red Sea that disrupted not only Tesla’s supply chain, but that of many other companies as well, forcing the automaker to shut down production for two weeks in late January and into February.

Giga Berlin recently reached a milestone of producing 6,000 Model Ys in a single week.

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