Hundreds of protesters attempt to storm Tesla factory near Berlin

Hundreds of protesters wanting to stop the expansion of a Tesla factory near Germany's capital of Berlin were blocked by police as they attempted to storm the site.

Crowds of demonstrators gathered near the Grunheide factory, Tesla's only European production base, on Friday carrying banners complaining about water consumption at the plant and advocating for public transport over private cars.

The protests against water consumption and the felling of trees to make way for a planned expansion of the factory have been ongoing since February, with demonstrations taking place in a forest near the site.

Several people were temporarily detained, German news service dpa reported, with dramatic pictures showing people being held down by officers as they were arrested.

According to the group which helped organise the protest, Disrupt, as many as 800 people gathered outside the factory.

"Companies like Tesla are happy to destroy habitats for their own profit," said Ole Becker, a spokesman for "Disrupt Tesla".

"Instead of SUVs for the few, we must build buses and trains for the many."

It comes after a suspected arson attack in March claimed by a far-left group knocked out power supplies for almost a week, bringing production to a halt at the plant, which opened in 2022.

Company CEO Elon Musk at the time called the culprits the "dumbest eco-terrorists on Earth" and said anti-Tesla protesters were misguided for aiming to halt production of electric vehicles rather than those powered by fossil fuels.

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During Friday's protest march at a nearby train station, "hundreds of participants ran into the forest and tried to get onto the Tesla site," police spokesman Mario Heinemann said on ntv television.

"We prevented that with our forces."

Police said demonstrators also blocked a nearby highway and a railway line, and set off fireworks at an airfield where Tesla stores new cars.