Electric vehicle maker Tesla is establishing its global engineering headquarters in California, CEO Elon Musk announced on Feb. 22.
In a joint press conference with California governor Gavin Newsom, Musk said the new engineering headquarters will be at the former offices of Hewlett-Packard in Palo Alto.
Musk called the move “a poetic transition from the company that founded Silicon Valley to Tesla.”
Newsom said that “Tesla is a California company” and “it started here first,” adding that California has supported the EV maker over the course of the last few decades.
“It’s demonstrable in terms of policy, in terms of direction, more broadly. An interesting regulation, dare I say, for all its good and evil, depending on which side you are on. But the regulatory framework accelerated the investment, accelerated with some certainty that this was the direction we were going,” Newsom said.
He then touted California as being the state where “the future happens first.”
“We’re changing the world through our historic investments, our conveyor belt for talent, and partnerships with companies like Tesla,” Newsom said.
Musk Moves to Texas
“The state continues to be the world’s innovation hub, charging the electric vehicle revolution, and dominating the industry in every category—all while keeping the same goal in mind: ensuring a cleaner, greener, and healthier place to live for future generations.”
The announcement comes after Tesla moved its corporate headquarters from Fremont, California, to Austin, Texas, in 2021, following a turbulent relationship with the Golden State.
At the time, Musk said the decision was based in part on California’s soaring housing costs which were hindering Tesla’s ability to scale up in the Bay Area.
The industrialist had also moved his home from California to Texas due to an earlier feud with local authorities over COVID-19 pandemic-related shutdowns and restrictions and high taxes. Texas is one of nine states that doesn’t have a personal income tax
Musk also noted during his joint press conference with Newsom that Tesla’s Fremont-based manufacturing plant has the highest automotive production output in North America and will likely produce more than 600,000 vehicles in the coming year.
He added that he looks forward to a continued partnership with California and transitioning the world to sustainable energy.
Tesla also said Wednesday that it is moving its battery cell production from Germany to the United States to take advantage of federal incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act.
California Probing Tesla’s Self-Driving Feature
Separately on Wednesday, Musk told CNBC that the new building in California is “effectively a headquarters of Tesla” and that it’s “kind of a dual-headquartered company.”
Tesla is currently being probed by Californian officials regarding the name of its self-driving feature.
Last year, Newsom signed into law a new bill (pdf) under which California dealers and manufacturers are banned from naming “any partial driving automation feature,” or describing “any partial driving automation feature in marketing materials, using language that implies or would otherwise lead a reasonable person to believe, that the feature allows the vehicle to function as an autonomous vehicle.”
The move came as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) continues to probe a number of vehicle accidents involving Tesla cars equipped with autopilot and self-driving features.
Tesla’s website states that the self-driving feature is not autonomous.
“The currently enabled autopilot, enhanced autopilot, and full self-driving features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous,” Tesla’s website states. “Full autonomy will be dependent on achieving reliability far in excess of human drivers as demonstrated by billions of miles of experience, as well as regulatory approval, which may take longer in some jurisdictions.”