Panasonic has withdrawn its 3,500 employees from the plant operated together with Tesla in order not to endanger the workforce in the corona crisis, such as Techcrunch reported. Batteries for electric cars were manufactured in the Nevada factory.
The factory will cease operating early next week and then close for 14 days. However, given the ever-increasing government containment measures, it is more than questionable whether this schedule can be kept.
The plant also produces electric motors, the powerwalls and powerpacks as power storage for the home and as backup batteries for the power grid.
Not only Panasonic employees work in the so-called Gigafactory, but also thousands of Tesla employees. The factory was built so that Tesla can cost-effectively manufacture its own battery cells for its electric cars and is not dependent on the global market.
According to a company spokesman, the Panasonic employees affected by the closure will receive full wages and other benefits for the 14 days.
Tesla will stop producing its vehicles in California on March 23, 2020, and will only maintain emergency operations there. Tesla's decision follows a day-long dispute with local authorities over whether the company is exempt from the other closure orders or not. Tesla will also close the Buffalo, New York, solar cell factory.
It is not clear whether Tesla will continue to deliver cars that have already been built. Deliveries are to run without contact using an app and smartphone. Customers can unlock the cars with their app in the parking lot, the relevant papers are in the vehicle. Papers to be signed will be deposited on site at Tesla by the new owner.