Tesla's Elon Musk moves to Texas, citing friction with California regulators

After threatening to move Tesla and SpaceX earlier this year, the electric car company CEO has personally moved out of California.

Antuan Goodwin Reviews Editor / Cars
Antuan Goodwin gained his automotive knowledge the old fashioned way, by turning wrenches in a driveway and picking up speeding tickets. From drivetrain tech and electrification to car audio installs and cabin tech, if it's on wheels, Antuan is knowledgeable.
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2 min read
Elon Musk
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During an interview at The Wall Street Journal's annual CEO Council summit, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed that he has personally moved to Texas.

The move comes on the heels of a series of clashes with Alameda County officials earlier this year over the forced shutdown of Tesla's factory in Fremont, California over concerns for worker safety. Musk eventually ignored the order and reopened the factory after downplaying the severity of the pandemic, daring officials to arrest him. No arrests were made, but Musk did tweet that Tesla would be suing the county for "acting contrary to… our Constitutional freedoms and just plain common sense."

Musk also tweeted that he'd be moving Tesla's headquarters to Texas or Nevada "immediately" back in May. Tesla is currently building a new factory outside of Austin and SpaceX has been operating in Texas almost since its inception. For now, however, both companies are still based and maintain operations in California.

During the summit Musk called California "a little entitled," comparing the state to a once-great sports team that has gotten complacent. "California has been winning for a long time," he continued. "And I think they're taking it for granted a little bit."

Tesla CEO Elon Musk
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Musk also took jabs at SIlicon Valley, comparing it to a redwood forest where the big trees of government keep the small tree innovators from growing -- an odd sentiment considering Tesla, presumably the "small tree" in this metaphor, has had a pretty successful year, all things considered, and will be joining the S&P 500 Index in a few weeks.

"Yes, I have moved to Texas," Musk stated, when asked about his personal residence. "We've got the Starship development here in South Texas, where I am right now. We're hopefully going to do a launch later today. And then we've got big [Tesla] factory developments just outside of Austin."

That Texas also has no income tax surely had some bearing on Elon, the second wealthiest person in the world, just behind Amazon head Jeff Bezos, deciding to relocate there. He's expected to earn somewhere north of $50 billion from stock-based compensation packaged approved in 2018 which would be subject to California's taxes -- among the highest in the nation. The move to Texas will save Musk billions of dollars.