June 23, 2024

In a dramatic turn of events, power has been restored earlier than expected at the Tesla Gigafactory near Berlin following a week-long outage caused by arson, the factory’s chief announced Monday.

Andre Theirig, senior director of manufacturing at Giga Berlin, took to LinkedIn to share the exciting news, stating, “Lights ON! The power supply to the Gigafactory has been restored for a few minutes. Now, under all safety precautions, the measures for the restart are in full swing.”

The outage, triggered by an arson attack on a nearby electricity pylon on March 5, was claimed by a far-left activist group called Vulkangruppe, or the Volcano Group. The attack plunged the factory into darkness, disrupting operations and leaving thousands without power.

EDiS, a division of German energy network firm E.ON, confirmed late Monday that the factory had been reconnected to the power grid over the weekend. Tesla was reconnected at 8:45 p.m. local time.

“It will certainly take some time before we have fully resumed production, but the most important step has been taken! Power ON!” Theirig expressed gratitude to EDiS for the quick recommissioning and praised the efforts of all involved, especially the employees who supported the factory during the challenging period.

Tesla, with around 12,500 staff, announced that production would gradually resume at the factory following the restoration of power. However, the company cautioned that it was still uncertain how long it would take for production to be fully resumed.

The outage had disrupted Tesla’s production goal of around 1,000 cars per day, resulting in significant financial losses amounting to hundreds of millions of euros. The Volcano Group, in a 2,500-word letter distributed to local media, claimed responsibility for the arson attack, criticizing Tesla’s environmental impact and CEO Elon Musk.

Musk condemned the attack as “extremely dumb,” questioning the motives of the perpetrators. Authorities have vowed to investigate the incident thoroughly and promised consequences for those responsible.

The arson attack is the latest in a series of environmental protests surrounding Tesla’s Gigafactory in Berlin. Plans for the factory’s expansion have faced opposition from local residents and environmental activists concerned about deforestation and the factory’s impact on the environment.

Despite the challenges, Tesla remains determined to expand its operations in Berlin. It aims to double the factory’s capacity and dominate the European market for electric vehicles. As the factory restarts operations, the focus now shifts to ensuring the security and resilience of its infrastructure to prevent future disruptions.