During a second quarter earnings call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the vehicle manufacturer’s decision to open a new factory in Texas.
“It’s going to be right near Austin,” said Musk. “The location is five minutes from Austin International Airport and 15 minutes from downtown Austin. It’s about 2,000 acres, and we’re going to make it a factory that is stunning.”
In May, Musk indicated that he was considering moving Tesla out of California, where the company is currently located, due to quarrels with local health officials that would not allow his employees to return to work.
Prior to his frustrations with California officials, Musk had already said that he was looking to build a Cybertruck manufacturing plant in the central part of the United States.
At his suggestion of leaving California altogether, elected officials across the state and country began asking Musk to move to their respective regions.
By June, there was a clear battle between Austin and Tulsa, Oklahoma vying for the company’s new location.
Austin was favored, but Musk said that Tesla would “for sure strongly consider Tulsa for future expansions down the road.”
During the earnings call, Musk also made it clear that Tesla would keep its presence on the West Coast, saying, “we will continue to grow in California.”
Del Valle Independent School District (ISD) offered Tesla $46 million in property tax breaks over the next ten years, and the Travis County Commissioners Court offered an additional $14 million in tax breaks during the same timeframe.
A representative from the governor’s office told The Texan that “no state incentives were offered to Tesla.”
Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe said that the company would lead to 5,000 new jobs and a $1 billion investment from Tesla in the new facility.
“Travis County has been able to take a tract of land that paid $64,000 in tax revenue over 10 years and turn it into a tract that will pay $8 million in tax revenue during the same period,” said Biscoe. “I am proud of the agreement we have reached. It strikes a balance between incentivizing Tesla, securing significant community benefits, and ensuring protection of workers and the environment.”
During the earnings call, Musk said that the company’s campus just outside of Austin would include more than just a factory.
“It’s right on the Colorado River, so we’re actually going to have a boardwalk where there will be a hiking-biking trail,” said Musk. “It’s basically going to be an ecological paradise — birds in the trees, butterflies, fish in the stream. And it will be open to the public as well, so not closed and only [for] Tesla.”
Musk said that initial construction on the facility began over the weekend.
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.