Production is restarting for Panasonic at Tesla’s Buffalo, New York solar panel factory. This has, of course, occurred after some businesses in the western region of New York were authorized to reopen. This outlet had been idle for approximately two months.
The president of Panasonic’s North American solar energy division sent out an email to 400 employees stating, “I decided to reopen the factory from Wednesday, 5/20.” The first two days will probably be spent dealing with the equipment checks, and the standard manufacturing will begin from Friday, May 22nd.
“Completed preparations under close collaboration with Tesla, such as preparation of masks, sanitizers and wipes, set new protocol for entrance, new rules in cafeteria and production floor, new seat assignment in the office area in order to keep 6’ to the next person.” – Shima wrote.
Furthermore, employees are mandated to go through a “pandemic safety training” before their first shift begins.
It’s not stated whether or not Tesla has begun operations in their factory there, although in Nevada the vehicle manufacturing factory in California has officially begun production. Despite being approached, the company hasn’t given any official word as of yet.
Initially, the plan was to restart production by May 16th; however, when Western New York failed to meet the criteria set for reopening, Panasonic had to delay its program as well. The production for Panasonic has been halted for almost two months, and one employee also tested positive for COVID-19 after the lockdown was imposed.
Additionally, Panasonic had announced its plans to end association with Buffalo factory earlier this year. It had said that most of its employees would be needed till the end of May while some would be required till the first half of June. However, due to the lockdown, production period was lost, which is why the involvement with Buffalo factory will stay intact till the end of June. A complete exit is set to happen by September.
Elon Musk said that Tesla was, “gaining momentum with Solar Roof before COVID essentially shut us down, both from the ability to install and the ability to get permits.”
In February, it was discovered that Tesla has been utilizing solar cells from a Chinese company.
Panasonic’s chief financial officer revealed that the company is planning to expand its operations at the Nevada factory. Tesla is collaborating with the same Chinese company to create a next-generation battery for its products.
Musk has been quite vocal about his discontentment with the stay-at-home orders that have been causing his company to remain shutdown. He called these orders fascists and unconstitutional.
Shima said to his employees through an email that Panasonic will “always follow the laws and official direction from State and local government, even if those are different from our intention for PSNA’s business activities.”