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Far-left activists claim responsibility for Tesla factory site fire in Germany


German police are investigating whether a fire that broke out overnight at the construction site of Tesla’s first European Gigafactory had a political motive, after far-left activists claimed responsibility.

The fire at the site in Grünheide in the eastern state of Brandenburg early on Wednesday morning damaged several power cables, said a spokesperson for the LKA state criminal investigation office.

He said arson had not been ruled out and investigators were examining a letter that circulated on social media on Wednesday that claimed responsibility.

The letter, which was published on a radical-left platform, said it had cut the power supply to the Tesla site by setting fire to six high-voltage cables above ground.

“Tesla is neither green, ecological nor social,” said the letter, according to the LKA spokesperson.

Tesla, which has said it could produce up to 500,000 Model Y cars at the site annually, delayed the opening of the factory to late 2021 from an initial 1 July date after adding plans to set up a battery cell plant there.

The Tesla chief executive, Elon Musk, has complained about German red tape that requires lengthy approval processes, after construction of the factory was held up by environmentalists concerned about local wildlife and water resources.



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