Speak EV - Electric Car Forums banner

1 - 20 of 52 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,313 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

Tesla has been ordered to temporarily halt preparations for a car factory in Germany after environmentalists won a court injunction on Sunday.

The electric carmaker had been clearing forest land near the capital, Berlin, ahead of building its first European car and battery plant.

The court emphasised the injunction was temporary and subject to further hearings, probably this week.

Protesters say the factory is a threat to local wildlife and water supplies.
Am I the only one amused by the irony of this ?

Perhaps the protesters feel the continued dominance of ICE vehicles is better for wildlife as a whole ? :)

The saying "pick your battles" seems to apply here ? ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
832 Posts
It is not one thing or the other though is it? There are other sites where the European Gigafactory could have been built without the destruction of a large area of mature forest. Had a brownfield site been selected, the area could have been regenerated and the environment improved. Without challenge business will choose the cheaper option to build on greenfield sites so I for one am glad that there are people willing to protest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
My home town is cold and heavily snow, so we have quite a lot of undeveloped forest, and I certainly don’t want it to be axed and build a factory that handling lithium, nickel, cobalt...on it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,841 Posts
I'm not aware of Tesla being especially environmentally friendly - Elon happens to have found and exploited (very well) a gap in the market, that's all.
They routinely make it as hard as possible for people to repair their cars (most recently activity re write-offs), and thus extend the car's life. That's bad for the environment.
They are a money making machine like any other company - don't get fooled by the fans.
 

·
Registered
Kia Soul EV 2020
Joined
·
1,658 Posts
Or Tesla could have as easily selected an already existing factory site?!?!!?!

So why the destruction of natural forest?
 
  • Like
Reactions: WalkingBootWeather

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,313 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
It is not one thing or the other though is it? There are other sites where the European Gigafactory could have been built without the destruction of a large area of mature forest. Had a brownfield site been selected, the area could have been regenerated and the environment improved.
To play devils advocate for a moment...

1) Nearly all the land in the area that is currently industrial/business would have at one time been forest that was deforested to build what is already there now. So the people that did that back when got a free pass and it's OK to use that land now because someone else's hands were dirty in deforesting it ? How about the massive amounts of farm land that is now livestock grazing, (producing methane as well) grain growing etc... before farming cultivated the land that too would have likely been forest that had to be cut down. Was it OK to do that as well because it was for crops and livestock rather than a battery factory ?

2) One of the reasons it was chosen from what I've heard is that it was a good location for people commuting to the factory from Berlin using public transport. Are your other suggested sites as good in terms of accessibility for workers or would they need to drive to some of these locations, thus becoming part of the problem ?

3) We're talking about 91 hectares here... How many hectares were already converted to industrial area and farmland in the last few hundred years ? It's a drop in the bucket...

There's a lot more to consider than just forest land vs previously de-forested and developed land.
Without challenge business will choose the cheaper option to build on greenfield sites so I for one am glad that there are people willing to protest.
What makes you think a greenfield site is cheaper ? That's so ludicrous that it's almost funny. No roads, no power, the need to cut down the trees etc... no, it's more work than taking over an existing site and adapting it to your needs, although it may ultimately lead to a better facility in the end.

I think Tesla's mistake was to start work on the site before they had all the necessary approvals - they probably (quite naively) thought the environmentalists would welcome them with open arms, and didn't realise that if they cut down even one tree or diverted even one stream the more militant environmentalists would be out with their pitchforks. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,313 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Or Tesla could have as easily selected an already existing factory site?!?!!?!

So why the destruction of natural forest?
Have you seen how big the Gigafactory in Nevada is ? I believe it's actually the largest single building in the world at the moment by square foot. It's hard to comprehend the scale of it.

What existing factory site could be converted on this scale ? I think people are not taking into account the scale of what they want to build here. We're not talking about converting some old warehouse in some rundown industrial estate...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Good on the protests and protesters.

I’m sure there’s plenty of areas they could build on that doesn’t require the destruction of natural habitats and woodland. Regardless of his promises to relocate wildlife it’s 225 acres of trees which are permanently disappearing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,434 Posts
Good on the protests and protesters.

I’m sure there’s plenty of areas they could build on that doesn’t require the destruction of natural habitats and woodland. Regardless of his promises to relocate wildlife it’s 225 acres of trees which are permanently disappearing.
Not quite - they've promised to plant three times as many trees to offset:


As you'll know, young trees absorb more CO2 than old ones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,313 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I'm not aware of Tesla being especially environmentally friendly - Elon happens to have found and exploited (very well) a gap in the market, that's all.
They routinely make it as hard as possible for people to repair their cars (most recently activity re write-offs), and thus extend the car's life. That's bad for the environment.
They are a money making machine like any other company - don't get fooled by the fans.
I agree that Tesla's have poor repair-ability, both due to design (good luck doing a cell or module swap in a Model 3 pack that is all glued together iPad style) and due to deliberately not providing spare parts and documentation to indies. If Tesla had gone bankrupt there would have been a lot of irreparable un-maintainable cars out there... owning one out of warranty would make me very nervous.

However you need to look past Tesla cars themselves and consider the impact Tesla is having on the whole automotive world. They are almost single handedly dragging the rest of the industry kicking and screaming against their collective wills towards a BEV future. Does anyone really think that governments would now be talking about a 2035 deadline for the end of sale of ICE vehicles if Tesla didn't exist ? Not a chance.

Whether you like Tesla cars or not and would buy one or not, or even agree with some of their practices, (and I have issues with some of their practices) there's no denying that on the whole they have been a force for good if only by pushing the rest of the industry to adopt BEV technology by showing that it can be done. Only when there are example cars of what can be achieved will policy makers start pushing legislation to mandate a move to BEV's and end the 100+ year love affair with oil.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,104 Posts
To play devils advocate for a moment...

1) Nearly all the land in the area that is currently industrial/business would have at one time been forest that was deforested to build what is already there now. So the people that did that back when got a free pass and it's OK to use that land now because someone else's hands were dirty in deforesting it ? How about the massive amounts of farm land that is now livestock grazing, (producing methane as well) grain growing etc... before farming cultivated the land that too would have likely been forest that had to be cut down. Was it OK to do that as well because it was for crops and livestock rather than a battery factory ?

2) One of the reasons it was chosen from what I've heard is that it was a good location for people commuting to the factory from Berlin using public transport. Are your other suggested sites as good in terms of accessibility for workers or would they need to drive to some of these locations, thus becoming part of the problem ?

3) We're talking about 91 hectares here... How many hectares were already converted to industrial area and farmland in the last few hundred years ? It's a drop in the bucket...

There's a lot more to consider than just forest land vs previously de-forested and developed land.

What makes you think a greenfield site is cheaper ? That's so ludicrous that it's almost funny. No roads, no power, the need to cut down the trees etc... no, it's more work than taking over an existing site and adapting it to your needs, although it may ultimately lead to a better facility in the end.

I think Tesla's mistake was to start work on the site before they had all the necessary approvals - they probably (quite naively) thought the environmentalists would welcome them with open arms, and didn't realise that if they cut down even one tree or diverted even one stream the more militant environmentalists would be out with their pitchforks. :)
‘Whataboutism’ is often used as an argument to support yet more of the same. It might only be a few hundred acres of trees this time, but combined with all the other times, it’s significant.

We’re frogs sitting in a pot of water, and we’re slowly being boiled to death.

So, no, it’s not ok to just carry on doing what we’ve done before just because others did it and it’s somehow our ‘right’ to have our slice of the pie.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it. Nothing will change until it changes, and nothing short of a catastrophe will drive that change. We just can’t help ourselves seemingly, we still only think short term.

And developing greenfield sites is nearly always significantly cheaper than taking over brownfield sites. I know, I’ve done it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,313 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
‘Whataboutism’ is often used as an argument to support yet more of the same. It might only be a few hundred acres of trees this time, but combined with all the other times, it’s significant.
And if they do in fact plant 3x the number of trees that they cut down as promised, then what ? Net improvement of CO2 levels ? That leaves what as the complaint, displaced wild animals that will move to another part of the nearby forest ?
We’re frogs sitting in a pot of water, and we’re slowly being boiled to death.
Caused in significant part by the billions of ICE vehicles on the planet that Tesla has a mission to force out of existence by popularising the BEV, through leading by example, ultimately pushing legislators to banish ICE vehicles ?
So, no, it’s not ok to just carry on doing what we’ve done before just because others did it and it’s somehow our ‘right’ to have our slice of the pie.
So trying to produces BEV's instead of ICE vehicles is "carrying on doing what we've done before" ?
I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it. Nothing will change until it changes, and nothing short of a catastrophe will drive that change. We just can’t help ourselves seemingly, we still only think short term.
I can't believe that you're saying this with a straight face. Like the protesters with pitchforks you're focused on one small plot of forest and not seeing the big picture which it is a part of...trying to encourage a planet wide transition from ICE to BEV...
And developing greenfield sites is nearly always significantly cheaper than taking over brownfield sites. I know, I’ve done it.
Ah, so you're part of the problem ? :)
 

·
Registered
Kia Soul EV 2020
Joined
·
1,658 Posts
Have you seen how big the Gigafactory in Nevada is ? I believe it's actually the largest single building in the world at the moment by square foot. It's hard to comprehend the scale of it.

What existing factory site could be converted on this scale ? I think people are not taking into account the scale of what they want to build here. We're not talking about converting some old warehouse in some rundown industrial estate...
So what? Size only means that they have to remove more trees than necessary if they had selected an already existing site.

The benefits of an existing site include and not limited to: already cleared, existing infrastructure and existing transport link.

Someone else just suggested that a forest has better transport links than an existing industrial site??!?!?!:eek::eek::eek::eek:
 
  • Like
Reactions: WalkingBootWeather

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,104 Posts
They are almost single handedly dragging the rest of the industry kicking and screaming against their collective wills towards a BEV future. Does anyone really think that governments would now be talking about a 2035 deadline for the end of sale of ICE vehicles if Tesla didn't exist ? Not a chance.
I think this is somewhat overstating what’s happening here.

Tesla are a disruptor, most industries have them these days. Tesla are succeeding because they’re manufacturing desirable vehicles that people want to buy. The fact that they also happen to be electric is almost a side issue.

Tesla still make up a tiny proportion of global car sales, an important one, but for the vast majority of the planet they are just unobtainable, the price sees to that.

If it was really about the environment Tesla would be manufacturing electric mopeds, as two wheeled vehicles are what people depend on in vast numbers across the globe.

To be blunt, I think the focus on a switch to EVs is starting to become unhelpful. The answer to a resources and pollution problem cannot be ‘make and buy yet more energy and resource intensive stuff’. BEVs are but a small part of the solution to a massive global problem, we should be talking more about consuming less, including vehicles of any persuasion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,313 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
So what? Size only means that they have to remove more trees than necessary if they had selected an already existing site.

The benefits of an existing site include and not limited to: already cleared, existing infrastructure and existing transport link.
If you have to tear down dozens of old buildings, rip up existing roads and pipe work to build one huge building, is that really any easier than clearing trees ?
Someone else just suggested that a forest has better transport links than an existing industrial site??!?!?!:eek::eek::eek::eek:
If you look on the article posted earlier you'll see the proposed location is next to an existing industrial estate.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,104 Posts
And if they do in fact plant 3x the number of trees that they cut down as promised, then what ? Net improvement of CO2 levels ? That leaves what as the complaint, displaced wild animals ?
If, is indeed the question. Is that even enough to cover the building of the Gigafactory, never mind production?

It’s not like they have to build on a greenfield site, it’s just more convenient, quicker and cheaper to do so.

Caused in significant part by the billions of ICE vehicles on the planet that Tesla has a mission to force out of existence by popularising the BEV, through leading by example, ultimately pushing legislators to banish ICE vehicles ?
The planet cannot afford to transition every ICE vehicle to BEV, it’s just not sustainable. It’s a middle class pipe dream to imagine it will solve much at all.

So trying to produces BEV's instead of ICE vehicles is "carrying on doing what we've done before" ?
Yes, as I said, the answer to resource and pollution issues should not be to use more resources and emit more pollution.

I can't believe that you're saying this with a straight face. Like the protesters with the pitchforks you're focused on one small plot of forest and not seeing the big picture which it is a part of...trying to encourage a planet wide transition from ICE to BEV...
There it is again, that planet wide transition thing, it’s not going to happen is it. You know it, I know it.

Most of the planet struggle to keep a roof over their head and food in their stomachs, never mind any car, never mind a BEV that costs 20+ years salary. Let’s get real.

Ah, so you're part of the problem ?
Part of the problem in as much as yes, I planned and built emergency services sites for many years, and I saw the business cases and finances for greenfield, brownfield and contaminated sites.
 

·
Registered
Kia Soul EV 2020
Joined
·
1,658 Posts
If you have to tear down dozens of old buildings, rip up existing roads and pipe work to build one huge building, is that really any easier than clearing trees ?
No one is talking about "easy". I'm talking about "recycle and reuse", instead of destroying natural resources. I'm not an environmental warrior, but in this case I would side with the forest protection.

And planting 3 times more trees is a poor excuse, as these trees will be able to replace the benefits of one existing tree in about 20 to 25 years? Why, if Tesla are so benevolent, they can just plant the extra trees, and protect the existing ones?!?!?
 
  • Like
Reactions: WalkingBootWeather

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,313 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I think this is somewhat overstating what’s happening here.

Tesla are a disruptor, most industries have them these days. Tesla are succeeding because they’re manufacturing desirable vehicles that people want to buy. The fact that they also happen to be electric is almost a side issue.
But it's not a side issue for Musk. He didn't set out to found "a car company" his specific mission was to found an electric car company to try and push the industry towards electric cars because he thinks that's the right thing to do. He's said many times if Tesla fails (goes bankrupt) as a company but ultimately speeds up the transition to electric cars on a whole by 10-15 years then it will be mission accomplished as far as he is concerned.

If you were trying to start a new car company in the 21st Century then the worst possible way to do it would be to start a company making only electric cars. Extremely high risk, and high chance of failure. Tesla have already had two near death situations in 2008 and 2018. Nobody would willingly choose to put all their money into an EV startup in the early 2000's unless there was an over arching goal other than just making money. In short, it was a very poor bet as a money maker.

Being desirable vehicles that people want to buy despite being electric is just what allowed them to succeed and get past the EV stigma. I think we are starting to forget just how ridiculed and not taken seriously EV's were before Tesla came along. They have helped change public perceptions of what an EV can be and can do.
Tesla still make up a tiny proportion of global car sales, an important one, but for the vast majority of the planet they are just unobtainable, the price sees to that.
But that's beside the point. Technology always trickles down from the expensive to the less expensive, and cars are no exception.

In the 80's anti-lock brake systems were a novelty that were only available in rather expensive cars, then they became an option in cheaper cars then within about 10 years they became standard fit in pretty much all cars. Today we have electronic stability control and traction control in nearly all cars - something you wouldn't dream about 20+ years ago.

Likewise airbags were first available in expensive cars and are now available (required) in all cars of every price, and this happened in a relatively short period of time.

The number of cars Tesla sell alone doesn't really matter, it's whether they push governments into mandating a change to BEV's on a global scale. And that change is starting to happen, and there is no way the targets we are seeing set now would have happened if there was no Tesla providing an example of how to do a good BEV. Legacy manufacturers would have just said "nope, can't be done! not possible!". Guaranteed. They had to be proven wrong by someone, and that someone was Tesla.
If it was really about the environment Tesla would be manufacturing electric mopeds, as two wheeled vehicles are what people depend on in vast numbers across the globe.
You've just said that Tesla is a tiny part of the market but somehow expect they should be trying to fill all market segments including mopeds ? Doesn't make any sense. They're a car company and should stick to their knitting. However the technology they help develop and pump out at industrial scales trickles down - batteries are getting cheaper for everyone now, so some company that does make mopeds now has better batteries available because the industry as a whole (research and industrial scale manufacturing) has been pushing hard to develop better batteries for EV's.

So indirectly they are helping electric moped manufacturers by helping to push the entire industry along.
To be blunt, I think the focus on a switch to EVs is starting to become unhelpful. The answer to a resources and pollution problem cannot be ‘make and buy yet more energy and resource intensive stuff’. BEVs are but a small part of the solution to a massive global problem, we should be talking more about consuming less, including vehicles of any persuasion.
Now its you that is well into the realms of Whataboutism. You sound like the BEV deniers that when faced with the claim of zero tailpipe emissions from BEV's have to say "Ah, but! EV's emit tyre and brake particles!" conveniently ignoring that so do the ICE vehicles they replaced...

Whether you like it or not, people are going to want to continue to buy and drive cars. Some people actually need cars due to their circumstances, (I'm one of them) so for them "take a bus or train" or "just walk or cycle" are not options. If you have to drive, make that car as efficient, clean, low maintenance and ecologically sound as possible. It's a no brainer really.... don't let perfect be the enemy of good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,313 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
If, is indeed the question. Is that even enough to cover the building of the Gigafactory, never mind production?
I don't think either of us has the information to answer that question.
It’s not like they have to build on a greenfield site, it’s just more convenient, quicker and cheaper to do so.
Hang on a minute one person is saying building on a greenfield site is quicker and cheaper the other is saying redeveloping an existing industrial site is easier, which is it ? Make up your minds.
The planet cannot afford to transition every ICE vehicle to BEV, it’s just not sustainable. It’s a middle class pipe dream to imagine it will solve much at all.
And you base that on what research exactly ?

Yes, if you were to prematurely throw away ICE vehicles that still had useful life left in them and be forced to replace them with BEV's you'd have a point. Replacing a still useful car with a new one is never the most environmentally sound option, and I am against forcing older cars off the road prematurely.

However if you simply make a condition like "no new ICE vehicles sold after 2035" but allow older cars to continue to be used and maintained until they get to their normal end of life then the new BEV's are only substituting for new ICE vehicles that would have been manufactured anyway. There is no net increase in car production, and old ICE cars will age off the road gracefully.
Yes, as I said, the answer to resource and pollution issues should not be to use more resources and emit more pollution.
So it's better to just sit on our hands and keep pumping out ICE vehicles because we're afraid to build a few factories ? Uh huh...
There it is again, that planet wide transition thing, it’s not going to happen is it. You know it, I know it.
It will happen - albeit only in developed nations initially. Check back in about 20 years and see how things are doing.
Most of the planet struggle to keep a roof over their head and food in their stomachs, never mind any car, never mind a BEV that costs 20+ years salary. Let’s get real.
And lets sit on our hands and keep pumping out ICE vehicles then eh ? :rolleyes: Should we wait until everyone in the world is being fed and housed before we start reducing toxic air emissions and pollution ? More Whataboutism. Lets just get on with things.
 
1 - 20 of 52 Posts
Top