CEO Elon Musk says Tesla Texas will be an “ecological paradise”.
During the company’s annual shareholder meeting, Musk announced Tesla Inc. would in fact move its headquarters from Palo Alto, California to Austin, Texas, where its new gigafactory is nearly complete. It’s a move that will likely have some ramifications in the area where it’s operated since 2003, though he also made clear at the meeting that the electric automaker is not entirely leaving California.
“We will continue to expand our activities in California,” Musk said. “This is not a matter of Tesla leaving California.” Instead, the goal is actually to boost production at both its Fremont plant as well as its battery-producing gigafactory in Nevada by 50 percent. As Automotive News points out, the company is also working on a “megafactory” to build large battery packs that it will sell to utilities companies in the state’s Central Valley.
Still, plenty of questions remain about the nature of the move itself, when it’s happening and precisely where Tesla’s Texas HQ is going to end up. While you’d imagine internal conversations about the move led up to today’s announcement, the fairly casual nature in which Musk made the announcement left out most of the details, at least for the time being. He did say that the $1.1 billion Austin gigafactory and Tesla’s new HQ is “going to create an ecological paradise here around the Colorado River.”
What about the friction between Tesla and California officials?
Of course, we can’t say exactly how much Musk and Tesla’s past issues with California influenced the company’s decision to move. However, the CEO did gesture in that direction last year in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, particularly with regard to local restrictions. He tweeted out: “Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately.”
Clearly that didn’t happen last year, but now the company is actually making good on actually moving its headquarters out of the state. Musk’s SpaceX also has interests on the Gulf Coast near Brownsville, Texas, so it’s a decision that makes sense to industry experts, in addition to the CEO himself.
While we still have yet to see the Austin gigafactory come online, Tesla has been making strides toward solid sales numbers this year, even as it grapples with ongoing supply issues. Last week, the automaker reported deliveries totaling some 241,300 vehicles, passing its previous quarterly record.