May 20, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Tesla drops lawsuit over California factory reopening

Ben Geman, author of Generate

Elon Musk. Photo: Win McNamee / Staff

Tesla on Wednesday abandoned its federal lawsuit against Alameda County, California, over pandemic-related restrictions on business operations that affected its factory in Fremont.

Details: Tesla did not provide immediate comment. But the case filed May 9 appears to be a fait accompli at this point.

Tesla reportedly told employees a few days ago that county officials approved the resumption of operations. Tesla had already reopened the plant in defiance of the local government.

The big picture: The lawsuit against county orders was part of CEO Elon Musk's broader, contentious battle over public health restrictions during the pandemic that he called excessive.

  • Musk has also threatened to move the company's HQ and "future programs" from the state, but the status of those plans remains unclear.
  • Even before the pandemic, Tesla was planning to build an additional factory to produce Model Y crossovers for East Coast delivery, as well as its planned Cybertruck.
  • The company is reportedly eyeing Austin, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, for that plant.

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