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Giga Shanghai Production Returns To Normal; Though Still Affected By Covid-19

Giga Factory Shanghai they will begin to resume its production levels prior to the stoppage due to the coronavirus outbreak in China. Meanwhile, Chinese authorities urge the brand to continue with the "closed circuit" method for a few more weeks.

Tesla spent several weeks of uncertainty and production stoppage at its Shanghai Giga Factory, the reason being a new outbreak of COVID-19. The Government of China put all its efforts and interest in guaranteeing a zero level of contagion in the country, something that abruptly affected many automobile companies based there. Tesla suffered a total of 22 days without being able to produce its electric vehicles, something that they were finally able to resume as of April 19, although with certain conditions.

One of these conditions was to carry out a "closed circuit" work schedule with the 8,000 workers, who would not leave the vicinity of the factory in order to guarantee the bubble environment as required by the local authorities. According to reports from nearby sources, these workers even slept on the floor in certain areas of the factory, had 12-hour shifts and worked six days a week, as we reported here a while ago. Now Tesla wants to go back to normality but the regional authorities are still basically oppose, due to the high potential risk of new infections. As an alternative, the Austin brand proposed creating two twelve-hour shifts and that the workers be transferred to their homes in groups, respecting the "closed bubble" process; but the leaders refused again. However, Tesla is already working on offering its staff decent accommodation, with bedrooms and other services.

Giga Shanghai, courtesy of Tesla Inc.Bloomberg pointed out that after an intense negotiation between Tesla and the Chinese authorities, Giga Shanghai will continue with this closed circuit method, at least until June 13; it is for this reason that Tesla basically presented all those multiple proposals for their workers to return to normality, something it has not achieved yet, though.

Alternatively, from Tesla they have also released a new, somewhat more positive announcement and that is that, as of today, Giga Shanghai is once again at 100% production levels and is already looking to break new electric car manufacturing records. Since the restart of work in the middle of last April, many different analysits predicted a long battle for Tesla to reach the previously marked production levels. Apparently this will not be the case and on Monday, May 23, the company released a statement assuring that its production levels would be at 2,600 units per day as of Tuesday, May 24.

Tesla Giga Shanghai, courtesy of Tesla Inc.

In recent weeks the factory has been able to work at levels of just 200 cars per day, when its production is estimated at at least 10 times more. This has been mainly due to the lack of supplies from third-party companies, which in turn have also been affected by the closure. In the past few days, Tesla already began to accelerate its manufacturing and on Monday, May 23, a 1,000 electric car production in one day was reached.

As of yesterday - May 25 - Giga Factory Shanghai resumed the rate of 2,600 units per day, which will mean a weekly level of 16,000 units and 800,000 electric vehicles per year. This basically directs the factory towards a new record, where they are already seeking to reach -or at least approach- one million units manufactured in a year. And all this taking into account the fact that in the 22 days of closing, Tesla stopped manufacturing a total of 60,000 vehicles, a figure that it hopes to quickly recover in the coming weeks.

All images courtesy of Tesla Inc.

Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.