Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 in Nevada will be allowed to remain operational since the facility is part of the electric car maker’s supply chain, according to Storey County Sheriff Gerald Antinoro. This means that despite the Coronavirus outbreak, GF1 can continue making batteries and powertrains for the company’s vehicles, as well as Powerwalls for Tesla Energy.
The situation in Gigafactory Nevada seems to be far clearer than the company’s Fremont factory, which, until today, was in a limbo of sorts. Initially, an Alameda County spokesperson deemed the Fremont factory an “essential” business despite the outbreak, but the county’s sheriff’s office later noted that the electric car production facility is not “essential” at all.
By Wednesday night, reports revealed that Tesla would be shutting down 75% of the Fremont factory’s activities, with a spokesperson from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office stating that the electric car maker had agreed to reduce its workforce on the site to 2,500 employees. Fremont typically has about 10,000 workers at the factory.
In contrast to the confusion in Fremont, Nevada does not seem to be having any issues dealing with Tesla’s operations in the state at all. Governor Gov. Steve Sisolak has urged “non-essential” businesses to shut down their operations to help curb the spread of the Coronavirus. But in a statement to the Reno Gazette-Journal, Sheriff Antinoro stated that as far as he is concerned, the battery and powertrain facility is an essential business that should be allowed to be operational.
“Tesla makes batteries and Powerwalls and whatnot, it is still part of the supply chain. As far as I am concerned at the moment they are good to stay open, but the county is seeking further clarification from the governor,” he said, adding that “we will ensure that there is as little disruption as possible to transportation and the supply chain in Nevada during this time.”
Sheriff Antinoro’s views on Tesla Gigafactory Nevada’s importance hold a lot of water. Gigafactory 1, after all, produces critical parts of the company’s electric cars such as batteries and powertrains, both of which are needed to keep vehicles running. During global pandemics such as the one caused by the C19 virus today, ensuring that all of Tesla’s cars have ample spare parts supply is pertinent. Powerwall production is also very important, as the home battery system could be deployed quickly to help people provide backup energy to houses in the event of emergencies.
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