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Tesla Slams Lengthy Approval Process for Berlin Plant: Report

Tesla says it is 'particularly irritating' that there is no clear timeline for final approval of the plant.
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Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report is reportedly frustrated with Germany's lengthy approval process for the electric vehicle maker's plant being built near Berlin, saying the country should cut through red tape to fast-track projects that help fight climate change.

In a letter written to a regional court in Berlin that was obtained by Bloomberg, the company said that it is “particularly irritating” there is still no clear timeline for final approval of the plant 16 months after Tesla filed its application.

"If these obstacles are not dealt with quickly, there is a high risk that Germany will miss its climate targets," the letter said. 

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Tesla has almost finished constructing the facility and intends to start production in July.

The company said in its letter that it has “learned firsthand that obstacles in Germany’s approval processes are slowing down the necessary industrial transformation."

“This discourages necessary investments in clean-energy projects and infrastructure and makes it practically impossible for Germany to achieve its climate goals,” the company added.

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A spokeswoman for Brandenburg’s chancellery told Bloomberg in an email that authorities aren’t legally allowed to differentiate between seemingly climate-friendly projects and those that may be polluting. 

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The state government has set up a task force to support Tesla’s approval process, she said.

Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer tweeted in support of Tesla’s letter, calling for Germany to “simplify approval procedures, reduce bureaucracy and promote innovation.”

In Feb. 2020, a German court ruled that Tesla could resume cutting down trees so the company could build its factory. 

The company said it planned to eventually produce as many as 500,000 cars a year at the site and employ 12,000 people.

Last week, Tesla reported stronger-than-expected vehicle deliveries for the first quarter, paced by its mid-priced Model 3 sedan and Chinese demand for its new Model Y.

Shares were up nearly 1% to $675.88 at last check on Thursday.