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Tesla's German Gigafactory construction rolls on, despite hibernating snakes

Reptiles having their annual nap are the latest roadblock to Tesla's progress in Berlin, but a local court said the carmaker can carry on.

Tesla Model 3 Long Range
Tesla had to pump the brakes in Germany for a few days.
Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Tesla hasn't had the smoothest road to construction in Berlin as it preps for a new Gigafactory in Germany, and now hibernating snakes, of all things, almost created another speed bump. This past Tuesday, a German court ordered Tesla to quit clearing a forest just outside the capital due to the reptiles' elongated nap, according to a Tuesday report from local newspaper Tagesspiegel, via Reuters. But, Tesla is back at it after the Frankfurt Administrative Court gave the electric carmaker the go-ahead, according to a Thursday report from German news site RBB24.

Germany's state environmental agency, the Landesumweltamt, did not return Roadshow's request for comment, and Tesla does not operate a public relations department to field requests for comment. But according to Reuters, the agency and Tesla needed to convene and assess the situation. It seems everything shook out in the past 48 hours, though, with Tesla walking away victorious. The sleeping snakes quickly posed a potential problem to CEO Elon Musk's goal of opening the company's first European factory by July of next year. The company can now continue clearing local forest where the factory will stand.

This is not the first time environmentalists have moved to protect local wildlife as Tesla clears land for the upcoming factory. Back in January, Tesla entered a race against time before the start of mating season. The automaker needed to start construction of some critical portions of the plant before March to avoid interfering with animals, you know, doing their thing. Tesla also had to temporarily relocate wolves, bats, lizards and other wildlife while construction takes place. Further, the company needed to agree to cut water usage as local authorities complained that the company would drain local resources. Oh, and officials also discovered World War II-era bombs at the site, which had to be carefully removed. Like I said, it's been a rough go.

When the plant does finally come online, it will build cars locally for Europe and it could play a key role in the electric carmaker's future. Musk has recently started to talk of a new compact car to cater to Continental buyers' tastes, perhaps an electric hatchback.

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