Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Monday that the company is “restarting production” at its Fremont, California, plant despite the county’s shelter-in-place order. “Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules. I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me,” the CEO tweeted. Tesla employees were called into work over the weekend at the company’s Alameda County facility, The Verge reported. The news came after Musk sued the county over the order—which closed certain businesses and manufacturing facilities amid the coronavirus pandemic—and also threatened to move the plant out of California. “The unelected & ignorant ‘Interim Health Officer’ of Alameda is acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms & just plain common sense!” Musk tweeted on Saturday.
Alameda County officials released a statement later on Monday, saying: “We have notified Tesla that they can only maintain Minimum Basic Operations until we have an approved plan that can be implemented in accordance with the local public health order.” Tesla will “submit a site-specific plan later today,” the statement adds.
Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty said over the weekend that county health officials were in discussion with Musk about reopening the plant on May 18 and almost closed the deal before the CEO ranted on Twitter. “Tesla would have opened,” Haggerty told The New York Times, “I know Elon knew that. But he wanted it this week.” Tesla employees reportedly finished making around 200 cars over the weekend. The company, which announced on Saturday that it had “started the process of resuming operations,” is asking more employees to report to work later this week, according to The Verge.