Firefighters from Grünheide where the Tesla Gigafactory Berlin is located were called to help put out a fire that started at a recycling plant that’s part of the main facility. It happened at 3 AM local German time and according to initial bits of information, it looks like it was stored cardboard that caught fire and it then spread, although it’s not currently known what the exact cause was.
Apparently the emergency services were called by Tesla’s own firefighting service at the factory when its 12 firefighters realized they could not contain the blaze. And even with the intervention of several fire crews, they still fought the fire until close to 8 AM, when it was reportedly just smoldering.
Unlike many electric car manufacturing plant fires that we report on, this one had nothing to do with EVs or their often problematic battery packs. Based on what we understand from this MOZ.de article, citizens from the local municipality of Grünheide are now calling for production at the factory to be stopped until clarification as to what happened is provided.
However, since the fire didn’t start in the actual factory building, it seems there would be no immediate cause for concern. The people who are asking for production to be stopped now may be the same people who opposed the building of the factory in the first place – Tesla’s idea to build a factory got mixed reactions locally and the manufacturer was even taken to court in Berlin over allegations of misleading advertising regarding the company’s carbon-dioxide emissions.
Production at the Berlin Tesla plant was not stopped and it’s building over 1,000 cars per week, with a target of 5,000 vehicles per week in 2023. Tesla also eventually wants to also manufacture battery cells and packs somewhere in the area, after in May it applied for a permit to expand its current facility, although these plans are rumored to have fallen through.