Arson Attack Halts Tesla’s Berlin Gigafactory Production

An arson attack forced Tesla to pause its operations at the Gigafactory in Berlin-Brandenburg. Full story. 

The Arson Attack

This past week, a high-voltage pylon at Tesla’s Gigafactory in Berlin-Brandenburg was targeted in a suspected arson attack, causing a significant power outage and halting production. 

Thankfully, the factory, which employs approximately 12,500 workers, did not have all staff on-site at the time of the incident. Initially, Tesla anticipated resuming production the following Monday; however, this restart has been postponed until the end of next week.

The local electricity provider, Edis, managed to restore power to most of the region by the early afternoon of the same day, but Tesla and a nearby warehouse remained offline.

The Volcano Group

A left-wing extremist group, self-identified as Vulkangruppe or Volcano Group, claimed responsibility for the attack, criticizing Tesla for environmental and labour issues. 

The group published an open letter on a site frequented by left-wing activists, expressing opposition to Tesla’s impact on the environment, and its water usage, and accusing the company of contributing to a patriarchal and imperial way of life.

In the letter about the incident, the extremist group wrote, “We sabotaged Tesla today, because Tesla in Grünau eats up earth, resources, people, labour and spits out 6,000 SUVs, killing machines and monster trucks per week. Our gift for March 8th is to shut down Tesla.”

Not the First Criticism

The group’s actions and message align with previous incidents and sentiments against Tesla’s presence and expansion in the region, arguing that Tesla’s operations eat up resources and accuse the factory of contaminating groundwater, among other environmental concerns.

Brandenburg’s interior minister and police are taking the attack seriously, initiating an investigation into the sabotage of the electricity infrastructure. The minister condemned the attack as perfidious and assured that it would have consequences.

The Ministry Statement

The State of Brandenburg’s Interior Ministry said in a statement “Unknown perpetrators deliberately set fire to a high-voltage pylon between Steinfurt and Hartmannsdorf in the early morning of March 5th,” and “The fire damaged the high-voltage power line so much that the power supply to the surrounding towns and the nearby TESLA factory failed.”

Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, responded to the incident and criticism on X, labelling the attackers as misguided and emphasizing the counterproductivity of targeting electric vehicle production in environmental terms.

Musk posted on X, “These are either the dumbest eco-terrorists on Earth or they’re puppets of those who don’t have good environmental goals. Stopping production of electric vehicles, rather than fossil fuel vehicles, ist extrem dumm” in an apparent typo. 

Local Views of the Gigafactory

The Tesla Gigafactory has been a point of contention for environmentalists and local citizen groups, who have protested against the pollution and potential damage to drinking water. Additionally, there are concerns about the impact of the factory’s proposed expansion on local water protection zones and forests.

A non-binding vote in Grünheide showed significant local opposition to Tesla’s expansion plans, with 65% voting against it. Despite this, there’s apprehension that government and economic interests might override local sentiment.

The incident highlights broader issues of environmental sustainability, the transition to greener energy, and the challenges of balancing industrial expansion with ecological preservation and community concerns.


Tesla’s ambitions to increase the factory’s production capacity significantly, amidst ongoing environmental protests and local opposition, reflect the complexities of scaling sustainable technologies against a backdrop of increasing global demand for electric vehicles.

The arson attack and subsequent halt in production contribute to a series of challenges for Tesla, including supply chain disruptions, a sales slump in China, and opposition from unions and environmental groups in Europe, impacting the company’s market valuation and stock performance.

The post Extremist Arson Attack Halts Tesla’s Berlin Gigafactory Production first appeared on Pulse365 Limited.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Kittyfly.

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