Electric car start-up Faraday Future is taking seriously the retooling of Pirelli Tire’s former Hanford plant into a state-of-the-art auto manufacturing facility, announcing last week that it has hired Matt Tall as a as new vice president of manufacturing. Tall is responsible for all aspects of production and manufacturing and “prioritizes the Hanford manufacturing facility, where he will oversee the final stages of site upgrading, tooling installation, components, rental and production of the FF 91 “.
Tall previously served as the vice president of manufacturing at Rivian and accumulated 29 years of manufacturing experience at a number of ICE and EV auto companies, including Ford, GM and Mercedes Benz, the company said.
Faraday Future said in a press release that “the Hanford manufacturing site is currently being prepared for the installation of manufacturing equipment, a process which is now expected to accelerate since its recent listing as a public company. on the Nasdaq.
The resources to complete the Hanford plant are now available, with construction and installation of equipment expected to meet its production target, which is within 12 months of its merger closing in late July 2021.
FF is currently recruiting staff for the new factory and says she plans to continue her hiring process over the next few months.
Hanford 100 degree days in 2021 reaches 70
Fresno hit the record books with the number of days above 100 degrees in a year numbering 64 as of Sept. 3 – news widely repeated in the press. But Hanford is no slouch when it comes to excessive heat, thank you very much.
As of this week, the number of days at 100 degrees or more is 70 on Thursday – well above the one-year average – 31 days. As for the record, NWS has uncertain data from 1919 which saw 84 days above 100 – a suspect number considering nearby Fresno only had a number in the 1930s that year. A spokesperson said it was possible we could see more than 70 out of 100 days this year, even if it finally gets colder this weekend.
The ice rink will celebrate winter
Here’s something to look forward to to forget the heat. Ice skating in the downtown municipal park in November. The city of Hanford has approved a payment plan of nearly $ 100,000 to rent a 50-by-70-foot rink from late November to January 9. Magic Ice USA rental includes 300 pairs of skates, string lights and 1,000 square feet of rubber mats. to cushion this inevitable fall. The City will train staff for what they call Winter Wonderland. The opening night will take place on Saturday, November 20 from noon to 10 p.m. The rink will be open seven days a week and guests will be able to enjoy ice skating, food vendors, hot chocolate, photos with Santa Claus, shows, a full bar (Thursday-Saturday), activities for all family and more.
Kings County COVID Rate
Kings County’s COVID vaccination rate continues to lag behind the state and surrounding counties. Kings County’s one-dose rate is 39.9% versus 48% for Tulare County and 59% for Fresno County. The state says 69.6% of residents have received at least one dose. On the other hand, new cases of COVID-19 are down in Kings County in early September, numbering just 10 on September 6 compared to 148 new cases as of August 31.
Kern hit by insurance and oil layoffs
This month, Kern County was hit by a wave of business closures in the insurance and petroleum sectors, pillars of the local economy. State Farm Insurance will shut down its operations center in Bakersfield, laying off 230 according to a WARN state notice. The company issued a statement saying “As we first announced in 2017, State Farm expected that we would be leaving the Bakersfield operations center in 2021. Late last year, we announced that we planned to leave the facility by the end of October 2021. “
The office used to have 1,300 employees. State Farm has consolidated its offices in California and now appears to be moving more services to Texas.
The operations center is located in Bakersfield’s largest office complex on Old River Road, now owned by a bankrupt oil company California Resources Corp, which has also announced layoffs in the county.
Separately, oil giant Basic Energy Services announced the layoffs of around 800 people in Kern County in recent weeks. Energy company in California.
Tulare hires new city manager
The Town of Tulare has hired a new City Manager to replace Rob Hunt, who is retiring. The board selected Marc Mondell, former deputy general manager of Rocklin, Calif., To fill the role this week.
Sierra Club sues Visalia for agricultural mitigation policy change
Less than a month after the city rejected its adopted Agricultural Mitigation Program (AMP), the Sierra Club sued Visalia for the change. The case was filed on August 31 in Tulare County Superior Court. Included in their demand – an injunction against the implementation of the new city policy – before a full court battle takes place.
Homebuilders don’t like AMPs. Farm Bureau says they don’t need it. The backstory here is that Visalia City Council has watched the residential construction boom – up to 40% over the past year – and fears the city is running out of space to build new homes.
The way the city implemented the AMP program, builders located within level 1 city limits do not have to pay any agriculture mitigation fee. Today, almost 8 years after the adoption of the General Plan 2030, Level 1 has only 1,444 acres out of 10,460 acres of residential land – it is 86% developed. Level II and III developments can only take place once certain building permit thresholds have been reached. In this case, the threshold is 5,800 residential permits. We are on the verge of spilling over to Level II if we haven’t already. And manufacturers have already filed requests.
Even though the plan was adopted in 2014, no one has yet had to pay the costs of CHA. But now their plan was for the payments to begin. So they changed the plan.
In early August, Visalia City Council opened the door to an additional 7,500 acres that could be developed both in Level II and later in Level III. This includes 1,500 acres in the next threshold – level II. But before opening the door, they rejected the agriculture mitigation fee that was part of the general plan, adopted in 2014.
Without challenge, the Level II lands could soon be subdivided and parceled out – no waiting required. To legalize this policy change, the general plan could be “modified”, the prosecutor of the city of Visalia told the Council. California case law has changed since 2014, the city attorney said.
Now a judge will decide and most importantly whether an injunction on a new Level II development will be approved before the case even goes to trial.
Electric cars are gaining ground
According to the California New Car Dealers Association, the combined market share of hybrid and electric vehicles in the first quarter of 2021 has exceeded 20%. This is about double the market share it was in 2017, as more buyers switch to electric or hybrid cars. To encourage more buyers, the energy commission says the state will need nearly 1.2 million public and shared chargers by 2030 to meet the fuel demands of 7.5 million electric vehicles rechargeable (EV) passengers expected to travel on California roads.
The trucks are next, and the California Energy Commission expects 157,000 chargers will be needed by 2030 to support the 180,000 also planned medium and heavy electric trucks and buses.