Will the Tesla CEO make good on this threat?
ood morning and welcome back to Speed Lines, The Drive’s morning roundup of what matters in cars and transportation. Today we’re talking about Tesla firing back at California, and the rest of the auto industry’s cautious reopening of North American car factories.
‘I’m Not Messing Around’
Elon Musk desperately wants to get his Fremont, Calif. factory open again. It’s turning out to be not that simple, as the government of Alameda County has told him and Tesla they cannot do so quite yet. Now, in typical Musk-ian fashion, the whole thing is escalating to lawsuits and Twitter fights.
To recap briefly: California Gov. Gavin Newsom is allowing for businesses and manufacturing sites to reopen, but he’s deferring to regulations from local governments. Last week Musk sought to have the Tesla plant up and running by Friday, but the county put a halt to it. After tweeting he’d file a lawsuit and examine moving the automaker to “Texas/Nevada” on Saturday, he made good on the first promise.
A federal lawsuit was filed against the county in the Northern District of California on Saturday afternoon (the case number starts with 4:20, too, because Musk never misses an opportunity to troll) seeking to void the county’s decision and alleging various constitutional violations.
As for Musk, he says he’s done with California now. Tesla remains California’s last automaker and one of its biggest manufacturers; his threats were met with a mix of support and hostility from various elected officials.