German Judge: Environmentalist Elon Musk Can Chop Down Forest to Build Tesla Factory

Elon Musk says cutting back on work hours isn't an option

Clearing forest land for Tesla’s German “Gigafactory” is back underway after an environmental challenge to its construction was thrown out of court. The company claims it will plant trees elsewhere in the country to offset the forest it clears to build a manufacturing facility.

Business Insider reports that an environmental challenge to the construction of Tesla’s new “Gigafactory” in Germany has been thrown out of court giving the firm the go-ahead to continue the clearing of forest land outside the town of Grünheide just east of Berlin.

Breitbart News previously reported that Tesla was ordered by a German court to stop cutting down trees in a forest near the capital of Berlin to make room for its first European “Gigafactory.” The electric vehicle maker announced plans last November to build a factory in Gruenheide, located in the eastern state of Brandenburg.

The ruling by the higher administrative court of the states of Berlin and Brandenburg came shortly after the state environmental office gave Tesla permission to clear 92 hectares of forest area to make room for the new manufacturing plant. However, the planning permission for the factory had not yet been granted meaning that preparing the ground for the factory was done at the company’s own risk.

The court stated that it would have taken Tesla only three more days to clear the area of trees which accelerated the issuing of the order. If the order to stop clearing trees had not been issued, the work would have been completed before the judges made a final decision on a complaint brought by a local environmentalist group called the Gruene Liga Brandenburg (Green League of Brandenburg).

Now, that environmental challenge has been struck down. A Berlin-Brandenburg court has given Tesla the green light to continue the clearing of the forest area and declared the decision “final.” Tesla stated that it intends to offset the environmental impact of the construction by planting trees that cover three times the area of the factory plot.

Tesla’s new factory is expected to employ up to 12,000 people and manufacture 500,000 cars each year. The firm already has factories based in New York, Nevada, and Shanghai.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at


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