Some Wins, Some Losses

Some Wins, Some Losses

by Gill D on July 02, 2021

After a German court rejected a plea by two environmental groups to block Tesla from conducting critical tests, the manufacturer came one step closer to launching its European manufacturing.

The injunction attempted to block preliminary functional testing of portions of the plant, which is under construction in Gruenheide, just outside of Berlin, and was brought by the nature protection organizations Gruene Liga and NABU.

Tesla had not fully detailed the steps it would take to prevent highly dangerous gas from escaping from the production, according to the two groups, who lodged the objection earlier this month. The Administrative Court of Frankfurt (Oder) confirmed on Tuesday that it had rejected the emergency application of two environmental groups.

Equipment from the paint shop, foundry, and body shop will be tested. In addition, the installation of wastewater treatment tanks and a refueling system has been pre-approved. According to the court, it was not clear that the temporary functioning tests would pose a risk under the Major Accidents Ordinance.

The court emphasized that only minimal amounts of water-hazardous chemicals would be utilized during the functional tests. According to the court, the plant components' trial operation did not represent a serious risk of releasing hazardous pollutants into the environment.

The State Office for the Environment's (LfU) permission only covers short-term commissioning of individual plant components for testing purposes, and notably precludes regular operational activities. Conservationists can appeal the ruling to Berlin-Higher Brandenburg's Administrative Court (OVG).

In Gruenheide, Tesla plans to produce around 500,000 Model 3 and Model Y automobiles per year. The corporation is still waiting for the construction's final environmental permit. It's uncertain when the final decision will be made.

Tesla has had a number of hiccups on the way to opening the factory, with CEO Elon Musk personally expressing his dissatisfaction with the complicated regulations and red tape that have stymied the plant's opening.

KEY EXECUTIVES’ DEPARTURE

So, although this is a win for the US manufacturer, the company has lost key staff. Marcel Jost, the plant's chief of general assembly has now left Tesla. Jost's resignation comes after Evan Horetsky the plant's project manager departure, left Tesla in October 2020.

Jost formerly worked at Daimler, most recently as its head of safety and environmental management in Stuttgart. He has also spent time working for Daimler in China. In March 2020, he was promoted to Tesla's senior quality manager in Germany. Horetsky has since joined Swedish hyper car manufacturer Koenigsegg.

MODEL S PLAID

It has also been reported this week, that a 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid sedan caught fire Tuesday night in Haverford, Pennsylvania, while the owner was behind the wheel. This is according to Charles McGarvey, chief fire officer for the Lower Merion Township Fire Department.

In June, Tesla began shipping the Model S Plaid, a new high-performance version of the company's flagship electric vehicle. According to the car owner's attorneys, he observed smoke rising from the back of his 2021 Model S Plaid and attempted to unlock and open the doors but had to force his way out because the locks appeared to be malfunctioning. The car began to move on its own after he left, and flames devoured it.

Mark Geragos of Geragos & Geragos in Los Angeles and Jason Setchen of Athlete Defender in Miami are representing the owner, whose identity has not been revealed.

According to McGarvey, firefighters removed the 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid to a compound where it would be safely stored overnight. According to McGarvey, the car's owner has already taken it from the facility and will have it investigated independently to ascertain the origin of the fire. McGarvey stated that his teams had spoken with Tesla and that further information would be released via public records soon.

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