They're absolutely furious.
A German environmentalist group just filed "criminal charges" against Tesla, accusing the company of "suspected water pollution and a possible environmental crime" at its Gigafactory in Berlin, Electrek reports.
It's the latest entry in a long saga of the EV maker butting heads with environmentalists, who opposed the construction of the company's gigantic car factory before it even began.
Not that the factory was popular in the area before all this: In 2020, local residents raised over 400 objections to the construction as critics also accused the company of needless deforestation and "stealing our water."
Now, The Association for Nature and Landscape in Brandenburg has filed three criminal complaints — including the illegal ramming of 104 piles, which were used to build out the company's parking lot. The risk, they argue, is that the penetration of the water table could contaminate the groundwater (and thereby the drinking water) in the area. The group also accused the carmaker of starting a work shuttle station before it received the needed construction permits.
But given Tesla's strong relationship with local politicians in the area, as Electrek points out, it's unclear if these charges will amount to anything.
Sascha Gehm, the deputy district administrator of the region, called the accusations "bananas," according to German news outlet Moz.de, arguing that no other company is as regulated as much as Tesla, adding that there has "has never been a threat to the groundwater in all this time."
Meanwhile, the company's Berlin factory has struggled to get production numbers up to speed, falling far short of its hiring goals, according to a recent Wired report.
Whether the environmental group's accusations will add to the company's existing headaches — and lead to actual disruptions — remains to be seen.
READ MORE: Tesla is facing ‘criminal’ allegations regarding Gigafactory Berlin [Electrek]
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