By Nathalie Voit

Elon Musk revealed Tesla’s plans to move its corporate headquarters from Palo Alto to Austin at its annual shareholder meeting on Oct. 7. 

Musk himself already moved to the Austin area from Los Angeles last year to oversee the construction of a new car plant known as “Gigafactory Austin” in Travis County. The meeting was held in the same location where the $1.1 billion assembly plant is currently being built.

“I’m excited to announce we’re moving our headquarters to Austin Texas,” Musk said. “We’re going to create an ecological paradise here around the Colorado River.” 

Musk’s other company, Space X, also operates from the state. The company has a launch site in Boca Chica. 

According to Musk, expensive housing in the Bay Area had made it difficult for the company to scale up. The high rents, coupled with Musk’s ongoing problems with California lawmakers, informed the company’s decision to shift its headquarters. 

“It’s tough for people to afford houses, and people have to come in from far away… There’s a limit to how big you can scale in the Bay Area,” he said.

The CEO had also been outspoken about government restrictions during the pandemic, calling stay-at-home orders “fascist” on a Tesla earnings call and resisting orders to shut down his Fremont factory despite Bay area mandates, according to CNBC.

“This is the time to think about the future, and also to ask, is it right to infringe upon people’s rights as what is happening right now?” the Tesla CEO said in April.

Nonetheless, the announcement does not mean Tesla will cease operations in the Golden state. Musk told shareholders on Thursday Tesla’s plans to increase production in its Fremont, California facility.

“To be clear, we will be continuing to expand our activities in California,” Musk said. “Our intention is to increase output from Fremont and Giga Nevada by 50%.”