Tesla’s Latest Challenge Is Unexploded WWII Bombs in Germany

Seven U.S. bombs were found at the site of the automaker’s new factory

Unexploded U.S. WWII Bombs Near Tesla's German Gigafactory
The site of Tesla’s German factory is checked for unexploded WWII bombs.
Sean Gallup/Getty
By Alex Lauer / January 25, 2020 7:30 am

In China, Tesla did the impossible. The electric automaker set up a new manufacturing plant (called a Gigafactory) and delivered EVs in less than a year. Now, Elon Musk’s company is looking to beat that inconceivable pace in Germany, but there’s one problem: all the American bombs. 

“Seven U.S. bombs from World War Two have been found in the plot of land outside Berlin where electric car pioneer Tesla wants to build its first European factory, local authorities said on Thursday,” writes Reuters. If they were simply husks of used explosives, that wouldn’t be an issue, but these are unexploded bombs.

The plot of land in question is in Grünheide, which is located less than an hour’s drive from Berlin. As The Wall Street Journal notes, BMW considered the area for its own factory before settling on a different location in Leipzig. But it was only recently that the exact specifications of the bombs became known — Reuters cites a spokesperson for the interior minister in the state of Brandenburg who said they each weigh about 110 lbs.

There’s good news and bad news for Tesla. As the Journal reports, “Germany will foot the bill for the explosives removal, but the process could cause delays for construction.”

Also possibly delaying construction is the local community around the factory. While some citizens are excited about the job prospects, others are concerned about the environmental impacts, and they’ve held small-scale protests.

Oh, and one more thing: there’s the issue of the bats.

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