While Tesla is due to complete its new German Gigafactory by July 2021, a local species of lizard could pose a genuine problem. On Friday, December 18, a German court issued an order forbidding Tesla from cutting down trees that are home to hibernating sand lizards that would not survive the deforestation process.
The court order noted that Tesla had previously tried to accommodate the protected species by collecting and moving any lizards it found there. However, with many male lizards already in their winter dens, the judge said Tesla's reptile relocation efforts will not be enough to protect the lizard population. It is still unclear, however, whether the court order will impact the plant's completion date.
This is not the first time that reptiles have slowed down the construction of the Grünheide Gigafactory which is due to open in July 2021. Tesla Gigafactory will produce 500,000 electric cars per year.
In November 2019, ecologists warned that construction of the plant could endanger a local bat species, and it has encountered stiff opposition from local environmental groups.