Tesla restarted production at its vehicle plant in Fremont, California, on Monday despite a shutdown order over the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic issued in late March by local authorities still being in place.
Ahead of the start of production, Tesla CEO Elon Musk posted on Twitter that he would be joining workers on the line and that if anyone is arrested, it should be him only.
Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules. I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 11, 2020
California Governor Gavin Newsom has allowed “critical infrastructure” to continue during the state's shelter-in-place, which Tesla argues allows it to continue production of its cars.
However, Alameda County, where the plant is located, has its own shelter-in-place order that allows only “minimum basic operations” to continue—an order that Tesla is suing the county over.
Musk, who has previously described the order as “fascist,” said on Saturday that Tesla will move its headquarters and some future programs out of California as a result, though it isn't clear if Tesla will actually go ahead with these plans.
Tesla Motors production line for Tesla Model S, Fremont, California
Alameda County issued a statement late on Monday that it continues to work with Tesla to reach an agreement on safety measures to allow the plant to reopen beyond the basic operations. It is unclear if the county will take any actions against Tesla for breaking the shelter-in-place order.
In other Tesla news, Tesla in a regulatory filing made on Friday said it has received a 4 billion yuan (approximately $565.5 million) loan from state-owned Chinese bank Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to continue funding its plant in Shanghai. The plant has been in operation since late 2019 and currently builds the Model 3. Production of the Model Y is expected to be added at a later date.