Elon Musk threatens to pull Tesla HQ out of California over coronavirus restrictions

SpaceX founder and chief engineer Elon Musk attends a post-launch news conference. (Reuters)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk threatened Saturday to pull the company’s factory and headquarters out of California and sued local officials who have stopped the company from reopening its electric vehicle factory.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court, Tesla accused the Alameda County Health Department of overstepping federal and state coronavirus restrictions when it stopped Tesla from restarting production at its factory in Fremont. The lawsuit contends Tesla factory workers are allowed to work during California’s stay-at-home order because the facility is considered “critical infrastructure.”

“Frankly, this is the final straw,” Musk tweeted. “Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately.”

He wrote that whether the company keeps any manufacturing in Fremont depends on how Tesla is treated in the future.

Musk has been ranting about the stay-home order since the company’s April 29 first-quarter earnings were released, calling the restrictions fascist and urging governments to stop taking people’s freedom.

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An order in the six-county San Francisco Bay Area forced Tesla to close the plant starting March 23 to help prevent the virus’ spread, and it was extended until the end of May. Public health experts say the orders have reduced the number of new coronavirus cases nationwide. California Gov. Gavin Newsom allowed the Bay Area counties to continue restrictions while easing them in other areas of the state.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:06 - GMT 07:06
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