The world’s no-longer-richest man was apparently bluffing when he threatened to move his East Bay Tesla plant out-of-state, as the plant has just submitted permit requests to expand.
A Bitcoin crash has left Elon Musk no longer the world’s wealthiest person, and in light of the state of Texas’ recent multiple-day power and water infrastructure collapse, we have to wonder — hey Elon, how’s that recent move to Texas working out for you?
He hasn’t said much on the topic, just the mere tweet above that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) “is not earning that R.” And hell, Musk was probably off riding this out Ted Cruz-style at some Ritz-Carlton in a tropical climate anyway.
But recent behind-the-scenes moves at his Tesla plant in Fremont call to mind Musk’s late-spring feud with Alameda County public health officers over his unauthorized reopening of the factory. That rogue reopening was followed two entirely predictable events: a COVID-19 outbreak at the factory, and Musk declaring “Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately.”
Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependen on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2020
That did not happen (and he did not realize Tesla's headquarters is actually in Palo Alto?). And it was probably never going to happen, as the LA Times has the news that Tesla has filed for permits to expand the Fremont plant.
The permits, first reported by the blog Teslarati, are for a pretty modest 64,000 foot expansion of the 5 million square foot factory. The factory has been forced to move many operations outdoors, and the permit request seeks to put a building at what is currently an outdoor, tented production area.
Maybe the company has learned that leaving California isn’t always the cure-all its cracked up to be. Automotive News Europe reported in early February that the forthcoming Berlin Tesla plant is experiencing a “massive delay” in completion.