Musk Counters Critics Who Say Tesla Gigafactory In Berlin Will Hurt The Environment

Tesla Inc. (TSLA) chief executive officer Elon Musk on Saturday countered critics who said the automaker's Berlin manufacturing plant would hurt the area's water supply.

What Happened

"Sounds like we need to clear up a few things! Tesla won't use this much net water on a daily basis," Musk said on Twitter.

Tesla's planning documents earlier this month had shown that its Berlin "gigafactory," as the company's plants are known, could need up to 372 cubic meters of water a day, sparking protests in the city.

"It's possibly a rare peak usage case, but not an everyday event. Also, this is not a natural forest — it was planted for use as cardboard & only a small part will be used for [the Berlin gigafactory]," the billionaire CEO added.

Musk said that the plant would "absolutely be designed with sustainability and the environment in mind," reiterating Tesla's commitment to plant three trees for every tree uprooted.

"Net environmental impact will be extremely positive," according to Musk.

Why It Matters

Two hundred and fifty people took to the streets on Saturday to protest against the Tesla factory, saying it will endanger water supply and wildlife in the area, Reuters reported.

"In such an ecological system like the one here and with the background that climate is changing, I cannot understand why another location was not selected from the beginning," one of the protestors said, according to Reuters. The Tesla factory is located near a nature preserve.

"I am not against Tesla ... But it's about the site; in a forest area that is a protected wildlife zone. Is this necessary?" said another.

The Berlin plant was announced in November last year, and production is expected to begin in July 2021. Tesla has three other such factories, two in the United States in Nevada and New York and another in Shanghai in China.

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