BERLIN: Tesla (TSLA.O) may lose the water supply contract for its long-delayed German plant if environmental groups win a court case challenging a licence granted to its water supplier at a hearing next week.
Frankfurt’s Oder administrative court will hear complaints from local groups on March 4 that Brandenburg’s environment ministry conducted insufficient checks before granting the license to the Wasserverband Strausberg-Erkner (WSE) utility.
If the groups win, the Wall Street Journal says it must cancel the contract with Tesla and will restart negotiations on where to pick up water at the plant — a potentially lengthy process with no guaranteed resolution.
A court spokesman said a decision was expected on the day of the hearing. Tesla declined to comment on the case.
Further delays will see work at the facility again jeopardized, just as the broader approval process is entering its final stages.
Elon Musk had hoped to own the factory – key to his ambitions to conquer the European market, where Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) now has the upper hand and EV sales make up 25% of Tesla’s 13% Share — and run six months ago.
After the delay, he said in October that he hoped to have it operational by December. The company has not further updated its release schedule.
The groups that filed the complaint, Gruene Liga and Nabu, worry that the 1.4 million cubic meters of water the Tesla factory needs every year — the equivalent of a town of 30,000 people — will deplete the region’s drinking water.
Tesla (TSLA.O) may lose the water supply contract for its long-delayed German plant if environmental groups win a court case challenging a licence granted to its water supplier at a hearing next week.