The US electric car manufacturer Tesla has to interrupt its production for much longer than previously expected after the attack on the power supply. The company announced on Wednesday evening that the stop would probably last until the end of next week. The “Bild” newspaper had previously reported on it. This means the economic damage to the company will be even greater. Plant manager André Thierig had previously expected a nine-figure euro amount, i.e. several hundred million euros. He was still assuming that production would restart next Monday – but now there would be another week of standstill.

On Tuesday, previously unknown perpetrators set fire to an electricity pylon in a field that is also responsible for supplying the Tesla factory. Production in Grünheide near Berlin was then stopped. Tens of thousands of residents in the region were also affected by the power outage. The police described a letter of responsibility from the left-wing extremist “Vulkangruppe” as authentic. The energy network operator Edis announced that the emergency services were working hard to supply the Tesla factory and a logistics center with electricity again.

The head of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution fears radicalization

The left-wing extremist “Vulkan Group” accuses Tesla of “extreme conditions of exploitation”. The group wrote on Tuesday about sabotage against Tesla. “We consider the letter to be genuine,” said a spokeswoman for the Brandenburg police. There was already an arson attack in May 2021, in which a power cable that also supplied the Tesla construction site was damaged. At that time, a letter in the name of the “volcano group” that security authorities classified as authentic also appeared. The perpetrators could not be identified.

Thuringia’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Stephan Kramer, warned against the radicalization of left-wing extremism. “The left-wing extremist scene continues its own radicalization, even locally,” Kramer told the Editorial Network Germany (RND) on Thursday. The inhibition threshold for using violence in political disputes is decreasing more and more. “Yesterday there were actions in which the air was released from the tires of SUVs, today there are arson attacks against critical infrastructure,” said Kramer.

In a citizen survey in Grünheide, around two thirds rejected Tesla’s planned expansion to include a freight station and warehouse on an adjacent site. More than 100 hectares of forest are to be cleared there. On Thursday, environmentalists and Tesla critics set up a protest camp with tree houses in the forest near the factory. A demonstration against Tesla is planned for Sunday. Around 12,500 people work at Tesla in Grünheide. The car manufacturer is planning to expand the existing plant.

Federal government plans law

The economy in Germany is pressing for more security after the attack. “Politics and business are jointly required to ensure the security of networks and critical systems,” said Martin Wansleben, Managing Director of the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK). The federal government wants to use a law to strengthen the protection of important networks and systems and support the security efforts of operators. Wansleben criticized that the government had been delaying the adoption of the relevant law for months.

The Federal Ministry of the Interior plans for the cabinet to deal with the so-called Kritis umbrella law in the first half of the year. This is intended to better protect the critical infrastructure against dangers. In addition, it is the obligation of the network operators to protect their infrastructure, said the spokesman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Maximilian Kall. This is of course easier with a substation than with a power pole standing in a field.