Musk Says Producing Affordable EVs Could Require Workers to Spend Nights at Giga Texas

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk has revealed that producing affordable electric vehicles would require an intense manufacturing process that could lead to Tesla employees “sleeping on the line.” During Tesla’s most recent earnings call, Musk warned Tesla employees that manufacturing affordable EVs would force the Texas-based automaker to make a sharp move from its conventional production methods.

According to Musk, Tesla engineers and workers would have to spend nights at Giga Texas to meet the company’s production goals. Tesla employees have slept on facility floors in the past as the company strove to meet extremely tight production deadlines in critical ramp-up periods.

Elon Musk has talked about developing an affordable electric car for the general vehicle market for several years now. Although EVs are expected to replace a majority of the internal combustion engine vehicles on America’s roads, they are still too costly for the average consumer to purchase. Poor public charging infrastructure coupled with limited range has also prevented many from making the switch.

Even so, price remains the most significant barrier to purchasing electric vehicles for the majority of drivers, meaning market leaders such as Tesla cannot achieve true market penetration until they tap into the general market of everyday drivers.

Tesla’s upcoming electric car is expected to cost $30,000 and is a response to increasing competition from Chinese EV companies such as BYD, which took Tesla’s position as the largest EV producer on the globe in the last quarter of 2023. Thanks to massive subsidies from the Chinese government, companies such as BYD have significantly reduced production costs and can price their electric cars at much lower points. The European Union has already seen a surge of cheap electric cars from China, and EU leaders have launched an investigation to determine if Beijing is using subsidies to artificially lower EV prices.

Musk said the “Redwood Project” would incorporate plenty of new manufacturing technology that would “set a new benchmark” in the auto industry. Tesla’s new EV manufacturing technology also promises to surpass any other auto manufacturing technology worldwide, Musk added.

While Musk’s ambitious production strategies are admirable, many are understandably concerned about how these strategies will impact the well-being of Tesla employees. Past reports have shown that employees at Tesla’s facility in Fremont, California, worked long hours under challenging conditions, resulting in on-the-job injuries. Tesla has been accused of workplace abuse more than once, and one investigation found that the EV maker’s facility had a lot more safety violations compared to other car manufacturer factories in the country. Furthermore, the facility had shorter training periods and higher injury rates.

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