Seven WWII bombs made safe at Tesla's German factory site

Telegram från AFP / Omni
26 jan. 2020, 17.00

German police on Sunday said experts had safely defused seven World War II bombs found on the future location of Tesla's first European factory, just outside Berlin.

The defusing operation was completed "without any problems", a police spokesman told DPA news agency.

The bombs in question were relatively small and dropped by the US air force during the war.

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

Electric car pioneer Tesla last week agreed to buy a 300-hectare plot of land in Gruenheide, east of Berlin, for 40.9 million euros ($45.5 million).

The site will become home to the US tech firm's first "Gigafactory" in Europe.

Tesla said it plans to begin churning out the firm's Model Y SUV and Model 3 sedan as soon as 2021, ultimately producing 500,000 cars per year.

While many local officials and residents have welcomed the thousands of jobs set to be created in the region, the project has sparked controversy because of its location in a wooded area.

Critics claim the planned deforestation will be harmful to local wildlife and could endanger the drinking water supply.

Dozens of people have protested against Tesla's arrival in recent weeks.

Tesla chief Elon Musk on Saturday took to Twitter to defend the factory.

"Sounds like we need to clear up a few things!" the billionaire entrepreneur tweeted.

In response to criticism that Tesla's factory would need to use some 300 cubic metres of water per hour, Musk said that would be at peak times only and "not an everyday event".

He also said the forest was not a natural woodland.

"It was planted for use as cardboard & only a small part will be used" for the factory, he added.

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