Tesla is moving its headquarters from Palo Alto in California to Austin, Texas amid frustration at the state’s Covid restrictions.
The move was confirmed by its CEO Elon Musk during a shareholder meeting on Thursday.
The entrepreneur had become increasingly angry at California officials in recent times and in April 2020 he hit out at what he called ‘fascist’ Covid-related restrictions.
Tesla currently has a factory in California, which will not be affected by the move.
Musk confirmed that the plant will continue to expand production there, saying the factory as well as a battery plant in Nevada would see output increase by 50 per cent.
Discussing limitations on the California expansion, he added: ‘It’s tough for people to afford houses, and people have to come in from far away….There’s a limit to how big you can scale in the Bay Area.’
The electric vehicle company also has a plant being built on the outskirts of Austin, Texas, while Musk moved to the city earlier this year after more than two decades in Los Angeles.
Steve Adler, mayor of Austin, released a statement saying: ‘We welcome Tesla home!
‘It’s a tech company that creates the clean manufacturing, middle-skill jobs Austin needs. We’re one of the safest big cities, with a strong innovative, entrepreneurial, environmentally focused culture and Tesla fits right in.
‘Tesla is now an even larger part of a community that works together to meet our challenges and to enjoy a magical city.’
During the shareholders meeting, Musk shared an image of a Tesla emblem.
It was in the style of a sheriff’s belt with the Tesla ‘T’ logo in the centre and the message ’Don’t mess with’ beneath it, seemingly playing on the phrase ‘Don’t mess with Texas’.