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Tesla to Hold Citizen Information Session on Expansion Plans for German Plant

BERLIN, July 18 (Reuters) - Tesla is due to hold a question-and-answer session on Tuesday for citizens in the German state of Brandenburg on the ramifications of a planned expansion of its EV and battery plant which would make the site the biggest car plant in the country.

The event could help the U.S. carmaker prevent delays to securing the go-ahead from local authorities for the expansion plans similar to those it faced in preparing to open the plant, when numerous citizen objections put it behind schedule.

Citizens will be able to ask Tesla workers questions on a range of topics covered in its application to authorities for the expansion, from water usage and emissions to working conditions.

Local environmental groups have expressed several concerns over the electric vehicle (EV) plant from the impact of tree-felling to its water usage.

Tesla has long argued the plant's impact is relatively low and pointed to the benefits of EVs in combating climate change.

Tesla plans to double the capacity of its EV plant to one million vehicles per year, far outstripping the next-largest plant in Germany - Volkswagen's Wolfsburg headquarters, which has a capacity for 800,000 cars but has struggled to ramp up and last year produced around 400,000.

Tesla's plant currently produces around 5,000 cars a week with 11,000 staff. The battery plant is assembling modules, but the company said in February it was not yet producing cells locally.

While Volkswagen still holds the highest market share in EVs in the region, Tesla is making its mark. Its Model Y was the bestselling car in Europe in the first quarter of the year.

Reporting by Victoria Waldersee, Editing by Rachel More and Himani Sarkar

Source: Reuters

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