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  • Tesla will submit amended application documents

    Tesla will submit amended application documentsFor the construction of the Gigafactory in Grünheide, Tesla presented the amended application documents for the approval process for pollution control this week. In addition, the company has to cope with the departure of an important manager again.


    As the Brandenburg Ministry of the Environment announced, "the developer had added to the documents for the approval process underway since December 20, 2019 according to the Federal Immission Control Act (BImSchG) for the Tesla Gigafactory in Grünheide (Mark)". On the one hand, the changes contained therein would be based on objections from environmental groups and affected citizens, and there would also have been "insights into the progress of planning that required adjustments," the ministry said.

    The latter is the case, for example, "due to previously unrecognizable foundation problems", here the applicant sees the use of pile foundations as necessary. Other points concern the much-discussed water consumption of the factory, where Tesla has now reduced the planned water consumption as announced in the application documents. "In addition, changes have been made to the system design in order to use the space more efficiently," says the message.

    The newly submitted documents are currently being checked by the State Office for the Environment and then published - due to the corona restrictions, the documents should not only be interpreted as before (in the licensing authority, in the municipalities of Grünheide (Mark) and Spreenhagen and in the city of Erkner), but also be published on the Internet. As a result, further objections to the construction project are possible, but only for the changed passages. According to the ministry, the 370 objections already submitted continue to exist. The discussion date scheduled for March is to be rescheduled in September, "provided that the then applicable regulations allow it".

    There are also new products from Fremont: Robin Ren, Vice President of Business Development and one of the most important people behind Tesla's success in China, has left the electric car manufacturer. Ren confirmed this on his LinkedIn profile. However, a new employer is not yet specified there. Ren joined Tesla in June 2015, initially as Vice President for the Asia Pacific region. In this position, he had a major impact on Tesla's business in China and also on relations with the government there - and has thus created the conditions for Tesla to receive approval to build Gigafactory 3 near Shanghai. Without a Chinese joint venture partner.

    "Together with Tom and Grace and other members of the Chinese team, he was instrumental in building the Chinese factory and made sure that everything was done properly and that there was a good relationship with the government," said Electrek Elon Musk about Robin Ren. "And that's why it's a good job in this regard."

    In 2018, Ren - still in the position of Vice President - took over the worldwide sales of the California car manufacturer before taking over responsibility for the Business Development department in May 2019. Reasons for the departure are not mentioned in the Electrek report, Ren has changed his vita on LinkedIn without comment. Who follows Ren is also unknown.


    First employees in Fremont tested positive

    However, there are currently other challenges for Tesla than the successor regulation for Ren: As one Tesla employee confirmed to Electrek, a total of four employees on the assembly line for the Model S and Model X in Fremont tested positive for Sars-CoV-2. The production employees would have worked on the same part of the assembly line. It is unclear whether the employees were infected with the virus in the factory or outside - but given the supposed proximity of their workplaces, the latter seems likely. In addition, meetings with representatives of Alameda County are said to have violated the distance regulations. However, the information has not been confirmed by a second source.

    The situation is different for other cases of Covid-19 in Fremont: The "Washington Post" confirmed two employees that "several cases of the coronavirus" had been reported. According to one of the employees, there were also two cases in the nearby seat assembly. However, these employees are said to have been divided into different shifts.

    It is not yet clear what the positive cases mean for Tesla's production. In the US media, however, workers had criticized the conditions of the hygiene concept in the factory. A Tesla employee told SF Weekly magazine that it was "a life and death situation". A worker told Electrek that they were still working closely together. "All they do is have us wear a mask in a hot factory," said the worker. “They measure our temperature and let us use hand disinfectants when entering. But of course that doesn't work. ”
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