Tesla plant in Berlin could be delayed amid environment concerns 

Elon Musk's first electric car plant in Europe is facing legal delays that could set the project back by several months.

Environmentalists have challenged the plans for the Tesla factory, and a court has suspended clearing a forest near Berlin immediately while it considers the case.

The Berlin-Brandenburg higher administrative court issued a temporary injunction against further logging, overturning a lower court ruling that had rejected a request by environmental group Gruene Liga Brandenburg.

The group is seeking to prevent Tesla from clearing more of the trees and the court said it will make a final decision on the complaint in the coming days.

The injunction threatens Tesla's ambitious timetable of having the plant up and running from mid-2021. If it does clear Germany's red tape, the site could produce as many as 500,000 cars a year and employ approximately 12,000 people.

Tesla and the government of Brandenburg, where the plant is located, have until mid-day on Tuesday to respond to the court and will meet that deadline Musk said.

If Tesla doesn't clear the forest by mid-March before the wildlife breeding period begins, construction could be delayed by six to nine months, local officials have warned.

Musk recently tried to ease local concerns about water usage for the plant, which would border a nature reserve.

Workers have already scoured the equivalent of about 150 soccer fields of forest and removed most of the errant World War II ammunition found there.

The project's environmental stipulations include relocating wolves, bats, snakes and lizards until construction is over.

Under German environmental regulations, the project in the small town of Gruenheide must also consider the breeding period for local wildlife in spring. #Tesla #ElonMusk #climatechange #Berlin