Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has attempted to put environmental concerns pertaining to the automotive company's plan to build a factory at rest, stating that the plant would consume less water than the original expectation. In the planning documents, Tesla had estimated the factory's expected water consumption to be 372 cubic meters per hour which would be driven from public drinking water. This resulted in numerous protests by the locals earlier this month.
Sounds like we need to clear up a few things! Tesla won’t use this much net water on a daily basis. 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 GF4.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 25, 2020
The factory, which is expected to start manufacturing cars in 2021, is to be built over a 300-hectare forest in Gruenheide, which is located in the eastern state of Brandenburg, with construction starting this year. Musk clarified that a minimal portion of the forest will be cut down to construct the factory.
German policymakers, unions, and industry groups have greeted the move, stating that the factory would bring jobs for local residents. However, environmentalists have stated their reservations and a Brandenburg water association warned against “extensive and serious problems with the drinking water supply and wastewater disposal” for the planned factory.
As per German business daily Handelsblatt's report on Sunday, Tesla also had applied for subsidies for battery cell production and research in Germany. When asked about it, the firm had no immediate comment.