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German Court Rules Tesla Can Clear Trees to Build Electric Cars

An earlier injunction in a lower German court attempted to stop Tesla from clearing trees to build an electric car factory.

A German court has given Tesla permission to clear trees and build its first electric car factory in Europe, days after the country slammed Tesla with an injunction that temporarily stopped Tesla's work, reports The Guardian.

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Tesla will build an auto factory in Germany, after all

The highest administrative court in the Berlin-Brandenburg region of Germany ruled on Thursday that it was okay for authorities to clear the trees away, after all.

The court's earlier injunction gave it time to review the case after an environmental group challenged a ruling in the lower courts that Tesla may proceed with cutting down 92 hectares (227 acres) of pine trees, at a designated site in Grünheide, 38 km (24 miles) east of Berlin. However, final approval for the planned factory has yet to be granted.

Tesla wants to manufacture 150,000 electric cars per year beginning mid-2021 and plans to increase this projection to half a million annually.

The automaker announced its plans to build its first European factory in the Berlin area back in November 2019. Germany's primary business lobby group called the Federation of German Industries, welcomed news of the rescinded injunction on Friday. A senior official with the group, Holger Lösch, described the decision as "an important signal for Germany as a site for investment."

He added that wider discussion is needed to workshop approval procedures in the European nation, "which over the years have developed into a serious impediment to investment."

To observers, Tesla clearing forests to build environment-friendly vehicles is ironic, but others might see this as a small sacrifice for the beginning of a new, more sustainable industry.

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