Elon Musk Wants to Move Tesla HQ to “Texas/Nevada” Due to COVID-19 Lockdown

The Fremont plant opened in defiance of Alameda County restrictions

Tesla Fremont car factory
Tesla's auto plant in Fremont, California.
Tesla
By Alex Lauer / May 12, 2020 6:30 am

If you’ve had a tough time staying up to date on COVID-19 developments the past few months, just imagine what it would be like if your boss was Elon Musk.

First, the Tesla CEO didn’t think the coronavirus was a big deal, going so far as to keep the company’s electric vehicle plant in Fremont, California open despite shutdown orders. Then the police intervened. Then he apparently switched tack, trying to make ventilators out of Tesla parts. And after a brief bout of conscience, he went back to tweeting about freeing America.

Then this weekend, Musk took to twitter once again, writing, “Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately.” The threat to relocate from California comes after Alameda County, where the Fremont auto plant is located, ordered Tesla to remain closed despite Governor Gavin Newsom easing manufacturing restrictions in the rest of the state, the Los Angeles Times reported

While the substance of that ultimatum remains to be seen, Musk wrote in a previous tweet that Tesla was filing a lawsuit against the county, and according to CNBC, he has followed through on that point.

But despite Tesla’s previous run-ins with the law during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Verge broke the news Monday afternoon that the EV company restarted production at the Fremont plant in defiance of the county orders. According to employees, around 200 vehicles were made this weekend while Musk was firing off his controversial tweets, which included calling a local public health official “ignorant.”

The potential move of Tesla’s headquarters to Texas or Nevada may, like the lawsuit, be more than an empty threat. As we previously reported, Tesla is searching for a new Cybertruck factory outside of California, and as the Times notes, the company already has a battery factory outside of Reno, Nevada.

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