Tesla CEO Elon Musk threatened Saturday to pull the company’s factory and headquarters out of California in an escalating spat with local officials who have stopped the company from reopening its electric vehicle factory, the AP reports. On Twitter, Musk also threatened to sue over Alameda County Health Department coronavirus restrictions that have stopped Tesla from restarting production at its factory in Fremont. "Frankly, this is the final straw," he 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.
An order in the six-county San Francisco Bay Area forced Tesla to close the Fremont 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. In a statement Saturday, Alameda County's Health Department said it has been working with Tesla to develop a safety plan allowing the Fremont plant to reopen while protecting workers. "We look forward to coming to an agreement on an appropriate safety plan very soon," the statement said. (Musk's new baby name might also be in conflict with California law.)