Tesla’s German production halted due to power outage amid suspected arson

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Tesla’s European Gigafactory near Berlin experienced a production halt and power outage following a suspected arson attack that ignited an electricity pylon adjacent to the site early on Tuesday.

The fire, which occurred southeast of Berlin, was swiftly contained by firefighters, averting any damage to Tesla’s manufacturing facility, its inaugural plant in Europe. A Tesla spokesperson confirmed the suspension of production and the evacuation of the premises, prompting a 2.5% decline in Tesla’s Frankfurt-listed shares.

Local media shared a letter purportedly from a far-left activist group named the Volcano Group, claiming responsibility for the incident and denouncing Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk. Authorities are investigating the authenticity of the letter, signed “Agua De Pau,” referencing a volcanic peak in the Azores.

This setback compounds Tesla’s recent challenges in Europe, including pressure from unions for collective bargaining agreements and disruptions in supply due to Red Sea shipping attacks. Germany has encouraged significant foreign investments amid economic struggles, making such incidents particularly concerning.

Tesla's German production halted due to power outage amid suspected arson

“If the initial findings are confirmed, this will be a perfidious attack on our electricity infrastructure,” remarked Michael Stuebgen, Brandenburg’s state Interior Minister, emphasizing the severity of the consequences. However, he cautioned against hasty conclusions regarding potential perpetrators.

While police investigate the arson, reports suggest the presence of bomb disposal units following the discovery of a sign indicating buried ordnance. E.ON, an energy company, is currently repairing the damaged high-voltage pylon, with electricity restoration to surrounding communities underway.

In a letter posted online, the perpetrators claimed responsibility, citing International Women’s Day as motivation and condemning Tesla’s environmental impact. The company’s expansion plans, facing opposition from residents and environmental activists, aim to double production capacity and dominate the European EV market.

Despite hurdles, Tesla achieved a milestone by producing 6,000 cars in a week for the first time in January, demonstrating resilience amid challenges to its European operations.

Also read: Activists Construct Treehouses in Protest Against Tesla’s Proposed Plant Expansion Near Berlin

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