Tesla Giga Berlin Halts Construction, Over Unpaid €100 Million Security Deposit

A new hold-up has occurred in Tesla’s operations in Germany, and this time there are no snakes.

According to a report, released by Zeit Online (via Reddit), Tesla has halted construction at its new Grünheide factory, due to missing final approval and deposit of €100 million to the State office for the Environment (Landesamt für Umwelt; LfU).

While the LfU has demanded the deposit for security regarding potential demolition costs, Tesla did not pay the fee by the originally-agreed upon deadline, which was December 17.

Tesla ultimately began building before approval, knowing that the construction was likely to be approved. Because of this, the LfU is requiring the security deposit, in case the buildings are not fully approved, and require reform or demolition altogether. The company has also had a history of defying authorities in order to accelerate production needs.

Now, Tesla is prohibited from installing any more equipment or clearing any more forest, until the debt is paid and the project, approved.

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While Tesla has endured its fair share of local and environmental criticisms in the past, this is the first time the company has halted construction in Germany due to missing payments.

It’s unclear how long Tesla will have to wait before resuming construction in Gründheide, but one thing is certain: the company is likely to continue doing whatever it wants, especially if it keeps gaining local tax benefits to build factories and supply jobs, while gaining major capital, like it has done so smoothly throughout 2020.