California officially sold 1 million electric vehicles this month, according to the California Energy Commission (CEC) Chair David Hochschild. California is home to many EV automakers, including Tesla, the leading pure electric car manufacturer in the market today.
“We just hit this month a very significant milestone, reaching 1 million electric vehicles sold in California,” Hochschild said. “There are almost three dozen companies making EVs in the state, which are now its largest export,” said Hochschild during an event hosted by The Washington Post on Monday.
Tesla’s Fremont Factory is located in California. Tesla spearheaded the recent EV revolution, and many credit the company for encouraging legacy automakers and new companies to manufacture electric vehicles. Through its most turbulent years, California was home to Tesla.
During the event, Hochschild emphasized the roles local and state leaders played and continue to play in decarbonization. “Local and state leadership is really how change happens in our world,” Hochschild said. “It’s really from the bottom up. And what we need at the local and state level is support from the national government.”
Ironically, at the height of the pandemic in 2020, Tesla’s CEO threatened to move the company away from California, even filing a lawsuit against Alameda County after officials refused to allow the Fremont Factory to reopen. By the time Musk made the announcement, Tesla had already made several attempts to fulfill the requirements of Alameda County with regards to infection prevention at the Fremont Factory. Tesla has also made several attempts to contact Alameda County to get the green light to open.
Musk made the announcement after California Governor Gavin Newsom delivered new guidance on the pandemic, allowing lower-risk businesses, including those in manufacturing, to reopen with limited operations. Despite Gov. Newsom’s announcements, Tesla was not permitted to reopen while other car manufacturers in the country already restarted operations at a limited capacity.
Tesla still has a strong presence in California, with Elon Musk announcing that the company would be expanding the Fremont Factory’s capacity by 50%. However, Tesla has officially moved its headquarters to the Lone Star state, where Giga Texas will start operations soon. Giga Texas fits the company’s current position as the leader of the EV industry and has ample space to accommodate Tesla’s growing ambitions and future plans.