Tesla's Giga Shanghai factory will reportedly continue operating in a closed-loop system until mid-June, people familiar with the matter who wished to remain anonymous told Bloomberg.
The closed-loop setup has been in place since mid-April, following three weeks of inactivity caused by the lockdown imposed by authorities in the Chinese metropolis.
As part of the procedure, staff has been ferried to and from work and tested for Covid-19 regularly, with thousands of Tesla workers sleeping on the floor of the Shanghai plant during 12-hour shifts, six days a week, to restart production. According to the report, Tesla wants to move the workers into a dormitory and keep them in a form of closed loop until June 13 at this stage.
The insiders added that the EV maker is also trying to start a second shift at the plant as soon as this week so that car production can resume operating around the clock once the supply of auto parts and other components gets back to normal.
Gallery: Tesla Giga Shanghai (Tesla Gigafactory 3)
Bloomberg notes that Tesla China executives are now negotiating with Shanghai authorities over accommodation for workers on the existing and planned shifts. Proposed solutions include temporary dorms or vacant Covid isolation centers, according to one of the sources. Tesla China did not comment on the report.
The US automaker had hoped most workers could be bused from their homes on door-to-door shuttles daily, but local officials opposed the plan, saying that if people left their apartments, they wouldn't be allowed back.
With two shifts running 24 hours a day, Tesla's Shanghai factory may be able to return to the pre-lockdown daily production of around 2,100 vehicles a day. Currently, the facility is running at about 45% of capacity and auto parts suppliers are also at around that level, a local government official said at a briefing last week. This contradicts a statement from another local government official who said in early May that Giga Shanghai production was back at over 80% of capacity.
Similar plans to bring in more workers in a closed loop system are in place for the Shanghai-based SAIC Volkswagen and SAIC General Motors joint ventures.
Despite official statements that the extremely strict Shanghai lockdown will be coming to an end soon, many restrictions remain in place. Residents are tested daily and need special passes to leave their homes and many businesses are still closed.