Tesla’s gigafactory in Grünheide, in Berlin, Germany is set to regain power from as early as today, allowing it to restart production, having been shut down for the past week following a suspected arson attack.

The attack last week (March 5) on nearby Steinfurt power substation, run by E.DIS, set an electricity pylon close to the Tesla site on fire, shuttering production for a week and costing Tesla estimated losses of hundreds of millions of euros.


Tesla’s Berlin-Brandenburg plant will manufacture millions of battery cells

In an update yesterday on LinkedIn, Alexander Montebaur, managing director of energy supply company E.DIS, said that due to fast repair work, there is a chance that power could be restored by this evening. Work on the temporary structure is expected to be completed today and could be ready for commissioning again, once successful testing takes place.

The Berlin-Brandenburg plant, first announced in 2019 by CEO Elon Musk, is Tesla’s first manufacturing location in Europe. Slated for completion this year, it will manufacture hundres of thousands of Model Y vehicles and millions of battery cells. 

A far-left organisation known as Vulkangruppe Tesla Abschalten, or ”The Vulcan (or Volcano) Group Shutting Down Tesla”, has taken responsibility for the attack, according to local German media. A letter apparently from the group made it clear that the attack was purposefully meant to target Tesla. “We sabotaged Tesla. Tesla consumes earth, resources, people, workers, and in return spits out 6,000 SUVs, killer cars and monster trucks each week,” it said.

The letter added that the site’s planned expansion was a contributing factor to the attack. “In addition to the dirty battery factory, Tesla now wants to expand its factory site by another 100 hectares, including for a freight station. An expansion of the storage and logistics areas directly at the factory, including the possibility of intensive rail logistics, should contribute to stabilising supply chains and production.”

The expansion plans at the site have been protested in recent months, with locals voting against the plans in February. Opponents of the expansion have said the project will impact a water protection zone in the region. However, the vote was not binding and local authorities have the final say in whether the project will go ahead.

In 2021, the group claimed responsibility for a fire at the then-under-construction site of the Tesla gigafactory.

German authorities have launched an investigation into last week’s attack, as it also affected critical infrastructure in neighbouring districts.