Power restored to Tesla factory outside Berlin a week after a suspected arson attack

BERLIN (AP) — Power has been restored to electric car manufacturer Tesla’s factory near Berlin after a nearly one-week outage believed to have been caused by arson, a network operator said.

Grid operator E.DIS said in a statement that Tesla was reconnected to the network at 8:45 p.m. Monday after days of repairs. It previously appeared that the factory, Tesla’s first in Europe, might remain without power until the end of the week.

Production at Tesla’s plant in Gruenheide, just outside the German capital, came to a standstill last Tuesday. Tens of thousands of residents, nearby hospitals, nursing homes and a big logistics center for a German grocery chain were also affected initially.

Authorities in the state of Brandenburg, where the plant is located, have said they suspect that someone deliberately set fire to a high-voltage transmission line on an electricity pylon.

A far-left organization calling itself the Volcano Group said it was behind the fire, accusing Tesla of “extreme exploitation conditions” and calling for the “complete destruction of the gigafactory.” The German federal prosecutor’s office took over the investigation, citing an initial suspicion that a terrorist organization may have been involved in the attack.

Tesla opened the factory in March 2022, launching a challenge to German automakers on their home turf.

The power outage came as environmental activists have been protesting in a forest near the plant against plans to expand the facility.

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