03:45 GMT24 January 2021
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    Tesla CEO and product architect Elon Musk, now the second-richest man in the world, plans to expand on an already active construction project near Berlin, Germany, and build what he believes will be the world’s “largest battery-cell plant.”

    Musk announced Tuesday at the European Battery Conference that he was “pretty confident” Tesla Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg will be “the largest battery-cell plant in the world.”

    During the conference, organized by Germany’s economy ministry, Musk claimed it would “make sense" for the smaller Tesla hatchback to be marketed to the European market. 

    "In the US the cars tend to be bigger... I was driving a Model X around Berlin and we had quite a lot of trouble finding a parking space that could fit it," Musk said, as reported by AFP.

    The entrepreneur mentioned he was "pretty confident it'd be the largest battery-cell plant in the world".

    Musk also emphasized that locals will not experience "detectable amounts of toxins in the air" from the battery production at the factory.

    Construction, on the other hand, has appeared to be another story when it comes to locals' frustrations.

    “We are here, we are loud, because Tesla is stealing our water,” protesters said in January, as reported by Reuters.

    The protests came about following warnings from the Brandenburg water association regarding “extensive and serious problems with the drinking water supply and wastewater disposal” of Tesla Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg.

    Environmentalist group Gruene Liga Brandenburg (Green League of Brandenburg) then took Tesla to court after Germany’s environment ministry granted the company permission to continue tree-felling.

    However, the Higher Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg ultimately ruled Tesla could continue site preparations "at its own risk.”

    As of recently, some 92 hectares of trees have been felled in the state and 100 additional hectares are expected to be removed amid construction.

    Sputnik reported earlier Tuesday that Musk surpassed Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to become the second-richest man in the world, with a net worth of $127.9 billion. Gates' net worth is $127.7 billion.


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    Tesla, Germany, Elon Musk
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