Electricity supply restored to Tesla plant near Berlin after sabotage

A view of the Tesla car factory in Gruenheide after production came to a standstill due to a power outage. The factory in Gruenheide near Berlin has been evacuated, a spokeswoman said. Sebastian Gollnow/dpa
A view of the Tesla car factory in Gruenheide after production came to a standstill due to a power outage. The factory in Gruenheide near Berlin has been evacuated, a spokeswoman said. Sebastian Gollnow/dpa
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The Tesla car plant close to Berlin is now back on the electricity grid, according to network operator Edis on Monday evening, a week after a left-wing extremist group said it had cut the power.

Repair work was completed much earlier than initially expected, Edis said.

Tesla had expected production to remain at a standstill until the end of the week due to the power outage that occurred around a week ago, when previously unknown perpetrators set fire to an electricity pylon near to Elon Musk's only European factory.

Production at the massive plant came to a halt after the fire at the freely-accessible electricity pylon in a field in East Brandenburg.

The previously unknown Volcano Group declared that it was responsible for setting fire to an electricity pylon that serves other businesses and residents alongside the Tesla plant.

The police consider a letter of confession issued by the group to be authentic. Federal prosecutors have taken over the investigation.

Tesla and its logistics centre were linked back to the electricity grid at 8:45 pm (1945 GMT) on Monday, Edis said. "Since then, the power supply has been restored," it said in a statement.

The attack on the pylon triggered a broad debate about better protection for energy grids in Germany. Tesla plant manager André Thierig estimated the damage at hundreds of millions of euros last Tuesday.

The attack came as controversy grows around Tesla's plans. The electric car maker wants to build a goods station, warehouses and a company kindergarten next to the 300-hectare factory site.

More than 100 hectares of forest are to be cleared for this purpose.

Tesla's European Gigafactory has proven divisive since before it even opened in March 2022. It employs around 12,000 people in an area that has been eager to attract investment, but there has also been apprehension surrounding Tesla's environmental and labour policies.

Tesla has rejected allegations of causing ecological damage and says it is moving forward with its expansion plans, despite the local opposition.