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Tesla Sues Alameda County Over Fremont Factory Closure

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Tesla has filed a lawsuit against Alameda County in California as the company has been unable to resume production at its Fremont factory due to a county order issued in March following the coronavirus pandemic.

The luxury electric car-maker alleged that the county order directly contradicts California Governor Gavin Newsom's order.

Tesla had received an explicit order from the Sheriff's Office in Alameda County, where Tesla is based, to shut down its Fremont plant amid the coronavirus pandemic, as it is not an essential business.

Following many days of a stand-off with local authorities, Tesla announced plans on March 20 to temporarily suspend operations at its California and New York factories.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Tesla is seeking a permanent injunction that would render the county's shutdown order invalid and enable the automaker to resume production.

Tesla alleges that the county's shutdown order ignored an earlier order from Newsom that permitted sixteen critical infrastructure industries, including transportation equipment manufacturing, electric motor manufacturing, and the energy sector, to continue to operate.

Tesla also noted that its factory in neighboring San Joaquin County has been permitted and continues to operate.

"There is no rational basis for this disparate treatment of two neighboring Tesla facilities both operating in federal critical infrastructure sectors," Tesla said in the lawsuit.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk had earlier threatened to move the company's headquarters out of California as a result of the shutdown.

In a blog post on Saturday, Tesla said it has started the process of resuming operations at its Fremont facility following the Governor's recent guidance.

The company noted that its restart plan is modeled on the resumption of operations at its Shanghai Gigafactory, which has seen smooth and healthy operations for the last three months.

The company also said that all employees must complete an online video training before returning to work at any Tesla facility and it has a thorough return-to-work plan for all its locations.

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