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Articles by Alyssa Jeong Perry

Alyssa Jeong Perry is an audio reporter at KQED and elsewhere.

Featured Article

This story was originally published by Reveal and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Inside Tesla’s electric car factory, giant red robots — some named for X-Men characters — heave car parts in the air, while workers wearing black toil on aluminum car bodies. Forklifts and tuggers zip by on gray-painted floors, differentiated from pedestrian walkways by another shade of gray.

There’s one color, though, that some of Tesla’s former safety experts wanted to see more of: yellow — the traditional hue of caution used to mark hazards.

Concerned about bone-crunching collisions and the lack of clearly marked pedestrian lanes at the Fremont, California, plant, the general assembly line’s then-lead safety professional went to her boss, who she said told her, “Elon does not like the color yellow.”

The melding of cutting-edge technology and world-saving vision is Tesla Inc.’s big draw. Many, including Justine White, the safety lead, went to work there inspired by Elon Musk, a CEO with star power and now a groundbreaking rocket in space.

What she and some of her colleagues found, they said, was a chaotic factory f... Read more