Tesla may lose the water supply contract for its long-delayed German plant, Reuters reports.
Should environmental groups win a court case challenging a licence granted to its water supplier at a hearing next week, Tesla may lose the contract.
A complaint was filed by local groups claiming the Brandenburg environmental ministry carried out insufficient checks before granting the licence to the Wasserverband Strausberg-Erkner (WSE) utility.
The Frankfurt Oder administrative court will hear the compliant on March 4
If the groups win, WSE must cancel its contract with Tesla, and negotiations will begin again on where the plant could source its water.
Elon Musk had hoped to have the plant – key to his ambitions to conquer the European market where Volkswagen currently holds the upper hand with a 25% share of electric vehicle sales to Tesla’s 13% – up and running six months ago.
Following delays, he said in October last year that he hoped to have it operational by December.
The groups bringing the complaint, Gruene Liga and Nabu, fear the 1.4 million cubic metres of water a year Tesla needs for the plant – akin to the usage of a 30,000-person town – will drain the region of drinking water.