Tesla factory in Germany targeted by far-left group

Production at Tesla’s German factory came to a halt after power lines supplying the plant were set on fire in an act of sabotage claimed by a far-left group.

Emergency services responded to reports of a burning electricity pylon southeast of Berlin near the Tesla plant early on Tuesday. The blaze was extinguished, but damage to the lines disrupted power to the electric car factory in the state of Brandenburg and surrounding villages.

Police have initiated an investigation into suspected arson, with far-left activists from the Vulkangruppe (Volcano Group) claiming responsibility for the act.

“In our sabotage, we aim to achieve the largest possible blackout of the Gigafactory,” the group stated, expressing concerns about the plant’s environmental impact and its effect on the local water supply.

Michael Stuebgen, Brandenburg’s interior minister, denounced the incident as “a perfidious attack on our electricity infrastructure” and emphasized the severe consequences for thousands of people cut off from their basic supply.

While electricity was restored to nearby towns and villages after a few hours, Tesla remained without power, and authorities anticipate several days to restore energy at the plant.

Opened in March 2022, Tesla’s factory poses a challenge to German automakers on their home turf. The company plans to expand the facility to include a freight depot, warehouses, and a company kindergarten, involving the felling of over 100 hectares (247 acres) of forest.

Reacting to the incident, Tesla CEO Elon Musk criticized the attackers, calling them “either the dumbest eco-terrorists on Earth or puppets of those with poor environmental goals.” He added, “Stopping production of electric vehicles, rather than fossil fuel vehicles, is extremely stupid.”

The power outage coincides with ongoing protests by environmental activists in a forest near the plant against Tesla’s expansion plans. Dozens of activists have set up tents and constructed treehouses in the area.

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