Let Tesla Expand? Three German Teens Have a Few Thoughts.

Tesla’s hulking assembly plant outside Berlin, which opened two years ago in a community known for its forests and lakes, still rubs many residents the wrong way. They worry it threatens the quality of their water and air, and has disrupted the peacefulness that drew them to the area.

Steffen Schorcht, 63, who lives across the freeway from the plant, said the light pollution alone meant he could no longer see the stars when he looked up at night.

Now Tesla wants to clear out an additional 250 acres of forest near the plant for warehouses and a rail yard, as well as for a day care center for employees and the community. Mr. Schorcht and many of his neighbors are determined to make sure that doesn’t happen.

“We say, ‘enough is enough,’” Mr. Schorcht said. Their resistance campaign includes weekly hikes through the endangered forest and knocking on doors.

But three local teenagers see the situation differently. For them, the arrival of a headline-making company with an intense focus on innovation through disruption has injected a dynamism into Grünheide, their sleepy town of 9,000 people, and given them a perspective for their futures.

The arrival of Tesla’s factory in Grünheide two years ago has divided local residents.Credit…Katrin Streicher for The New York Times

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