Tesla Giga Shanghai production facility has been affected by a heat wave and drought that has ripped through China.
According to reporting from CNN, China’s heat wave and drought have forced provincial governments to enforce energy and water rations. The terrible environmental effects have concentrated in the Sichuan Province, an area in South-Central China. Due to the severity of the situation, cities as far as Shanghai, over 1,200 miles away, are feeling the effects.
Two main factors have led the Sichuan Provincial Government to prevent local factories from opening until Saturday, extending the current shutdown by five additional days. First, the area has seen a dramatic drop in rainfall, hindering hydroelectric plants that provide significant power to the Province and the rest of China. Secondly, the heatwave has led to increased electricity use and a further reduction in water levels, once again preventing energy production.
These power production limitations have led to halts or slowdowns at 16 different auto manufacturers, including SAIC, China’s largest manufacturer, Toyota, which owns a production facility within the Sichuan Province, and Tesla, whose facility is in Shanghai. This marks the second significant slowdown of the year for Giga-Shanghai, following the COVID lockdown that China enforced in March. Details regarding how much production has slowed are not yet available.
SAIC and Tesla appealed to the Shanghai City government to intervene, and while the city requested more power be sent from the Sichuan Province, many criticized the move as the remaining power was being used within the Province for high-priority tasks.
According to CNN, the heat wave has resulted in consistent temperatures above 104 degrees Fahrenheit, and the results are quite harrowing. China’s largest river, the Yangtze, has shrunk so dramatically that it has forced 70 cities into declaring drought conditions. Further, as the river feeds into China’s largest hydropower dam, the Three Gorges Dam, power generation will likely decrease there as well, once again continuing a power shortage and rationing.
As the threat of climate change becomes ever more present, droughts and heat waves much as this one will likely become more common. It is unclear how China will avoid similar situations in the near future without substantial modification to energy generation systems.
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