Laschet and Tesla boss Musk for removing approval hurdles | free press

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Grünheide (dpa) – Chancellor candidate Armin Laschet called on Friday for faster approval procedures at the construction site of American electric car manufacturer Tesla in Gruenheide near Berlin.

The CDU chairman spoke out on the side of company boss Elon Musk for a change in class action rights. “It is unacceptable that someone who as a local resident does not suffer from this, but lives on the North Sea or the Bavarian Alps, can file a lawsuit to stop such projects. We have to change something.”

Musk said it was problematic as new rules came every year and they reached a level where nothing could be done. The regulations should be reviewed regularly.

Laschet emphasized that the current regulations came about in the period before the Paris climate agreement. “But if the situation is as serious as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says, then we need to accelerate.”

Tesla is building a car factory near the capital’s airport. About 500,000 cars are built every year. Production should start in July, but the end of the year is now in sight. Tesla is also planning a battery factory, which is slowing down the approval process. So far, the company has built with early approvals. The Tesla boss was confident that the approval process would be completed in October.

Elon Musk already criticized the length of the approval process in April. This led to a discussion about spatial planning and environmental law in Germany. Laschet advocates dismantling bureaucracy, loosening economic shackles and creating new opportunities for economic growth.

Laschet said Tesla had taken a huge risk with the multi-billion dollar investment. “If the approval isn’t granted, they’ll have to tear everything down here.” He argued that other companies could also build innovative industrial plants without taking such a big risk.

When asked what he thought of Laschet, Musk said, “He seems like a great guy.” The question of whether the politician will be the next chancellor will have to be decided by the German people in the elections. The car boss contradicted the politician on one point. When Laschet emphasized that politicians would not make strict technical specifications for types of propulsion and that, for example, the use of hydrogen technology in larger trucks would also be possible in addition to battery technology, Musk waved his hand with a smile. “Hydrogen technology is a huge waste of time.”