TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Earthquake risk and the Tesla Fremont Factory - no issue?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by calisnow, Apr 2, 2016.

  1. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2014
    Messages:
    1,136
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    As a California native who grew up in elementary and high school hearing constant talk of the eventual "big one" I always have earthquake risk in the back of my mind.

    How big an issue is this for Tesla? Let's say a 7.X+ magnitude quake struck somewhere near Fremont - how long could it shut down Tesla production?

    Unlike some other makers they are extremely vertically integrated, and they have only one manufacturing location.

    Having all this concentrated in one spot for a company with a $30 billion dollar market cap seems a bit risky perhaps.

    Or perhaps it's too late at night and my risk perception is way off.
     
  2. ModelZ

    ModelZ Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2016
    Messages:
    123
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I'm sure that with Fremont being near several major active fault lines, the engineers that built the warehouse/factory took all seismic factors into consideration.
     
  3. BertL

    BertL Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2015
    Messages:
    1,598
    Location:
    Carlsbad, CA
    #3 BertL, Apr 2, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
    The fact remains there is a single point of possible failure with a single factory.

    Today, Tesla is not like other mfgrs where they have multiple plants delivering vehicles around the world -- some specific to a model, but others that produce the same vehicle for different markets, or unique option variations still shipped globally (Toyota and Lexus come to mind). Some international locations have been announced to be (full or partial?) Tesla factories for future foreign markets, however their build-out is yet to be seen with vehicles being delivered out their doors -- but it would appear Elon at least has the thought on his mind.

    Let's also remember, "the factory" is only one part of the equation in the supply chain necessary to construct and supply parts to service a vehicle. I doubt very much Tesla has multiple suppliers for every component ready to ramp up on a moment notice, so if "the big one" hit and took out one or more Tesla suppliers, it too could have ramifications on any mfgrs ability to produce a final product.

    Even with those challenges, if a major problem arrises, e.g. as the earthquakes/tsunami did in Japan a few years ago, it can take substantial time to get everything running again including surrounding infrastructure (rail, truck, ship, etc) that a specific mfgr and their suppliers do not have direct control over. Getting the people and supplies in and out of all factories in the supply chain is as critical as the factory itself. (e.g. think how important it will be to move raw materials into the Gigafactory by truck/rail, then final batteries to Fremont from the NV desert -- just within Tesla's own infrastructure for one part of the future equation.)

    IMHO, there are too many variables and not enough detail for people like us on this forum to do anything other than speculate here -- but as a guy that spent quite a bit of his career dealing with IT disaster planning and putting plans into action when disasters appeared possible (like hurricanes) or were declared in support of 1000's of customers, Tesla's risk mitigation plans are hopefully becoming more robust as their annual growth continues.
     
    • Like x 3
  4. DCGOO

    DCGOO Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2015
    Messages:
    234
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    They have a plant in Europe.
     
  5. BertL

    BertL Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2015
    Messages:
    1,598
    Location:
    Carlsbad, CA
    Interesting. I'm not aware that any real Tesla manufacturing has begun in Europe or that any vehicles have ever been produced outside of Fremont, CA USA to date. Before ordering my MS this past Fall, I found a number of press announcements with Elon being involved this MAY occur in other parts of the world (e.g UK, Netherlands, India, China) at some future date, and even mention of leases from local authorities and pictures of buildings with Tesla logos on them. Some articles also left me with the impression some non-US locations would perhaps become final integration points for bodies, batteries, and other components provided from the US -- not all-inclusive build sites as Fremont+Gigafactory are/will be (back to the OPs original post -- making those non-US plants then dependent upon Fremont as well, should some disaster strike it). I'm interested in any references someone may have confirming Teslas are being produced or put through final assembly before delivery outside the US today -- putting a lot of past press I've read, into reality.
     
  6. TaoJones

    TaoJones Beyond Driven

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    1,299
    Location:
    The Americas
    The Europe facility is assembly only iirc.

    The China facility will be interesting, given the inherent givens of, among other things, the nature of intellectual property in that part of the world.

    Insofar as the Fremont location goes, it didn't fail due to earthquakes. It failed due to a corrupt union that was never interested in quality from day 1 at what was supposed to be GM's crown jewel/flagship facility. Never happened.

    An earthquake, for example of this proportion This date in science: Biggest earthquake in North America | EarthSky.org wouldn't have to happen directly on the premises to be a problem - anywhere in the Bay Area would be catastrophic from the tsunami alone. And we'd have bigger problems than car production if it did.
     

Share This Page