According to multiple reports, Tesla is up against allegations that may be considered criminal. Environmentalists in Germany are reporting that the water in the area may be polluted, and they suspect Tesla is responsible. If the EV maker is responsible, it could be charged with an environmental crime.
Environmentalists have been concerned since the day Tesla announced it was building a factory in Germany. In fact, it seemed such groups were willing to do whatever they could to make sure the factory was never built. One of their primary concerns from the beginning was the impact on the area's water, which is a common concern when any new factory is being built.
To make way for the factory, Tesla had to tear down trees and damage the environment in an otherwise unscathed area. The company made several accommodations to help ease the concerns of environmentalists, though it never seemed to be enough. Even long after the factory has been ramping up EV production, there are still regular issues brought to light by environmentalists.
That said, this time it appears the groups are taking a big step forward. They're reportedly going so far as to file criminal charges against Tesla, at least according to a recent report published by MOZ.de, which was shared by Electrek.
The report discloses that the Association for Nature and Landscape in Brandenburg has already filed three related criminal charges with the prosecutor in Frankfurt. It goes on to say that two of the three charges are specifically against Tesla.
One charge alleges that Tesla's foundation piles could be reaching the groundwater, thereby potentially contaminating it. A second charge was brought against a deputy who's involved with the local department of construction. It accuses him of “a lack of supervision and control” over Tesla's construction projects. The final charge says Tesla started a work shuttle station project at Giga Berlin before obtaining a permit.
At this point, there's no official word on how the prosecutor may move forward with the various allegations. This is a developing story. As more details become available and the process moves forward, we'll either update this article or provide a follow-up.