The US President Donald Trump has thrown his support behind Tesla to restart production of its electric cars.
- shares

The US President Donald Trump took to Twitter overnight to support Tesla’s plans to reopen its electric car factory – weeks earlier than local authorities allowed and in defiance of county shutdown orders.

The 45th US President wrote on social media: “California should let Tesla & @elonmusk open the plant, NOW. It can be done Fast & Safely!”

The controversial boss of Tesla, Elon Musk, replied on Twitter: “Thank you!”

As reported yesterday, Tesla had already restarted production at its factory over the weekend – producing about 200 vehicles – while it was commencing legal action to fight a ban on manufacturing in Alameda County until the end of the month.

The Reuters news agency reported overnight that “at the factory’s outbound logistics parking lot, where only a dozen Tesla cars stood on Friday, hundreds of Tesla vehicles were seen on Tuesday”.

Alameda County officials says they had been “working to permit Tesla to resume operations on May 18, the same day other US automakers have been permitted to resume production in other states,” the Reuters news agency reported.

When Tesla’s defiance of the factory shutdown was exposed by US media, Musk wrote on Twitter: “If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me.”

Late last week California health officials said manufacturing was allowed to restart.

However, the Tesla factory also falls under the jurisdiction of Alameda County, which did not want manufacturing in the region to restart until later this month or early next month amid fears of expanding coronavirus outbreaks.

Musk responded to the extended shutdown period by taking legal action to fight the lockdown orders and threatening to take the factory – and thousands of jobs – away from the state.

However, it has since emerged the Tesla assembly line had restarted in any case.

Meanwhile, a Texas official wrote a Twitter message inviting Tesla to relocate its factory there.

“We have a motivated, pro-business governor,” said Richard Cortez, county judge of Texas’ Hidalgo County, the Reuters news agency reported. “What we no longer have is a shelter at home mandate.”

In response, Musk wrote on Twitter “Note is much appreciated.”