Tesla’s German Plant Expansion Met With Ongoing Protests And Arrests

Tesla Inc. is facing further protests at its factory in Gruenheide, Germany as activists attempt to stop the electric-car maker’s expansion plans which would require razing part of the surrounding forest. The demonstrations are expected to continue through the weekend following a series of actions on Friday that led to at least 16 arrests.

Protesters broke into an airfield damaging new Tesla vehicles and blocking a state road near the factory according to the police for the state of Brandenburg. Several people were injured, including 21 police officers.

Jörg Steinbach, Brandenburg’s minister of economy energy and labor, said the actions on Friday were “unacceptable.” “The future needs perspectives like Tesla,” Steinbach said in a post on X. “Many people already today live from these jobs.”

The facility which makes the Model Y — Europe’s best-selling passenger car last year — employs around 12,000 people. Tesla didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the protests.

Activists have been camping in a forest near the plant since February to protest the potential expansion. In March, Tesla was forced to halt production at the factory after an arson attack at a nearby electricity tower caused power failures throughout the region.