Tesla Inc is pressing ahead with preparation to build its new factory in Germany and intends to build battery cells and battery packs at the site located in Brandenburg, near Berlin, a spokesman for the U.S. automaker said on Wednesday, following assurances it would not use too much water.
Tesla said on Thursday it would have to start a new authorization process for battery production. Currently, no timeline for this application has been communicated.
The Ministry for Agriculture, Environment, and Climate Protection in the State of Brandenburg is expected to officially approve the construction plans for the plant towards the end of the year once the relevant applications have been submitted.
Environmentalists had expressed concerns regarding the plant but environmental officials have received assurances on water usage, according to a regional planning consultation panel.
A Tesla spokesman said the automaker welcomed the assessment of the local water association that construction could proceed, though some environmentalists were still not in favor of the plan.
“Tesla is like a falling meteorite. Something is being pushed down on us from above,” said Thomas Loeb, a member of the Ecological Democratic Party.