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Tesla applies to generate electricity in the UK

Image credit: reuters

Tesla has applied to for a licence to generate electricity in the UK, although the exact nature and specific intended purpose of the application is currently unknown.

While the US firm is predominantly known for its range of electric vehicles, it also has operations in battery energy storage as well as solar panel and solar roof tile manufacturing.

In 2017, Tesla created the world’s largest battery in Australia to maintain consistent electricity flow in the country’s most wind-dependent state.

Tesla's application to UK energy regulator Ofgem does not specify why it has applied for the licence and Tesla declined to comment on the matter.

In addition to potentially building a battery facility, it’s also possible that Tesla wants to launch its 'Autobidder' platform in the UK. This aggregates renewable power generation and trades the energy produced by them.

Despite numerous polarising tweets from founder Elon Musk in recent days bemoaning the coronavirus lockdown in the US, Tesla has since told furloughed workers at its San Francisco vehicle assembly plant that it would be at least another week until they can return to work.

The automaker originally planned to reopen the plant today (4 May), nearly six weeks after it was originally closed on 24 March.

“For furloughed employees, unless you are contacted by your manager about a start date, you will remain on furlough until further notice, at least for another week,” Valerie Capers Workman, the company’s in-house counsel, wrote in an email to staff.

The extension comes days after health officials from San Francisco County, along with five other Bay Area counties, said they would revise "shelter-in-place" orders that are set to expire on Sunday. The new orders will keep the restrictions in place and extend them through May, with limited easing for a small number of low-risk activities.

The UK’s automakers have also been struggling with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with a 41.8 per cent fall in output in March compared to the previous year. This equates to an estimated £8bn fall in revenue, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 

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