Tesla grappling with parking space shortage at its Fremont factory

FREMONT (KTVU) -- Tesla is having difficulty accommodating its workforce at its Fremont factory, which apparently doesn't have enough parking spaces for all of its employees who need them.

Tesla has about 6,000 employees at its job site but only enough parking lot spaces for 4,500 vehicles and many employees have turned to creative ways to park their cars. The problem appears to be most acute before and after a shift change.

An account has cropped up on Instagram under the handle of @teslaparkinglot. The account has images of cars that are jammed and crammed together. Some drivers resort to parking on nearby sidewalks or anywhere where a sliver of space can be found.

One post showed an obscenity laden paper left on a windshield that took the driver to task for blocking the lot. Another showed a Tesla parking ticket left on a poorly parked car.

Tesla officials declined to comment about the parking shortage. Workers at the site also declined to comment.

Tim Higgins, a technology and automotive reporter, wrote about the situation recently for the Wall Street Journal.

"Parking in Silicon Valley is almost a bellwether of how well a company is doing," he said. "If it's on the rise, they're hiring a lot of people and they're growing more quickly than they can handle and you're seeing that at Tesla."

The automaker is also working to fulfill almost 400,000 orders for its new Model 3 cars, which very likely means workers may have to compete with those vehicles for parking spaces at the factory.

A huge parking lot, adjacent to the Tesla factory, is currently under construction but it is for a major housing development being built.

Other nearby lots, which may or may not be available, would have to be prepared and paved before Tesla could use them for its employees.

"You look around Silicon Valley and land is at a premium," Higgins said. "So, it's hard to just throw more parking lots at the situation."

Tesla points to Fremont city officials who have approved the company's master plan, which calls for how it will use land and its resources.

The company has also said it encourages its workers to utilize mass transit by offering a subsidy along with providing a shuttle service between its job site and transit stops.

The company says it also encourages carpooling, ride sharing and bicycling.

By KTVU reporter Tom Vacar.

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