Tesla’s Giga Berlin plant is unlikely to start production before the end of this year as originally planned. The main reason for that is yet another environmental hurdle, namely a water pumping hearing that has been delayed for the third time, according to RBB24 cited by Teslarati.

The administrative court in Frankfurt/Oder is yet to communicate a new date for the hearing that has to do with the Tesla plant’s water source. Several environmental groups sued the State Environment Agency because it approved increased delivery rates for the nearby Eggersdorf waterworks in 2020.

Environmentalists claim the necessary tests necessary before granting such a permit are missing. Eggersdorf pumps around four million cubic meters of water from the ground every year, and a large part of it will go to the Tesla site in Grünheide.

If approval is denied, it could jeopardize the future water supply of the electric vehicle plant, which is expected to consume around 1.4 million cubic meters each year. 

Gallery: Tesla Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg County Fair

Until the matter is settled, Giga Berlin will not be allowed to start production. According to reports from German media, a verdict is unlikely to arrive before the end of the year.

This means that the start of production for the Tesla Model Y will be postponed for 2022, which means there’s a real possibility that Giga Texas will begin manufacturing the Model Y ahead of Giga Berlin. Tesla broke ground on the Austin, Texas site in August 2020, while work at the Grünheide, Brandenburg site started in February 2020.

While work at the Austin plant has carried on largely without any hurdles, the Giga Berlin project has been challenged by environmental groups from the very beginning when Tesla had to clear a portion of a forest in preparation for construction.

The impact on wildlife and water supplies has been among the main concerns, and Tesla pledged to relocate colonies of forest ants, reptiles, and bats affected by construction work.

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