Tesla Germany halts work, Musk calls suspected arson ‘extremely dumb’

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Tesla’s European Gigafactory near Berlin has halted work until further notice after what CEO Elon Musk called an “extremely dumb” suspected arson attack nearby left it without power on Tuesday.

The attack southeast of the German capital set an electricity pylon close to the site ablaze, but the fire did not spread to the Tesla facility – the US electric vehicle maker’s first manufacturing plant in Europe.

It has however shuttered production at least until early next week, the company said.

The outage will cost Tesla estimated losses in the high hundreds of millions of euros, with 1 000 vehicles left unfinished on Tuesday alone.

A company official was noncommittal on whether this would affect plans to double capacity at the site but condemned what he saw as negative sentiment towards it.

Emergency services have extinguished the blaze, and power to the surrounding communities has mostly been restored.