Elon Musk announces Tesla HQ will move to Texas as other companies leave state due to abortion laws

Electric car manufacturer will continue to expand in California, CEO tells shareholders

Alex Woodward
New York
Friday 08 October 2021 00:25
Businesses May Leave Texas Over Anti-Abortion Law

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced during an annual shareholders meeting that his company will move its headquarters from Palo Alto, California to Austin, Texas.

“We’re excited to announce we are moving our headquarters to Austin, Texas,” he said during the live-streamed event on 7 October from an in-progress facility in the state.

He does not intend for the electric car manufacturer to leave California altogether, however.

“Just to be clear, though, we will be continuing to expand our activities in California,” he said. “So this is not a matter of Tesla leaving California.”

He signalled moving his company headquarters in May, when he announced on Twitter that Tesla would be moving its “HQ and future programs” to Texas or Nevada “immediately” in defiance of California’s coronavirus public health guidance and rules he said impacted production at his Fremont facility.

“If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be [dependent] on how Tesla is treated in the future,” he wrote at the time.

Mr Musk has himself relocated to Texas, where he has based his SpaceX operations and established a Tesla factory. During Thursday’s event, he said he witnessed the Texas blizzard in February that caused mass power outages impacting millions of homes.

He said Tesla’s Texas facilities will produce batteries to store solar-generated power.

“I think primarily solar will be the main source of energy in general, and then you need to store that energy with stationary battery packs and then you need electric vehicles and electric airplanes and boats and whatnot,” he said on Thursday.

His company’s entrance in Texas follows a push among many businesses and advocates to leave the state to protest Governor Greg Abbott’s passage of a restrictive anti-abortion law that would ban abortions at six weeks of pregnancy. A federal judge struck down the law on 6 October.

After the governor signed the bill into law, he told CNBC that “Elon had to get out of California because, in part, of the social policies in California.”

In response, Mr Musk wrote on Twitter that he believes “government should rarely impose its will upon the people, and, when doing so, should aspire to maximize their cumulative happiness.”

“That said, I would prefer to stay out of politics,” he said.

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