Tesla Publishes Mysterious Blog Post About Its California Footprint

Tesla made a rare blog post to talk about how relevant it is to California. Was it convincing? 10 photos
Photo: Tesla/California/edited by autoevolution
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Tesla is not very fond of communication. It closed its PR department years ago and never replies to the press. Sometimes, even Tesla customers need help to talk to the company. That is what makes a recent blog post a mysterious move from the EV maker: it talks about Tesla’s California footprint. Why now?
According to the post, Tesla’s “exponential growth” was only possible due to several factors, including “climate policy leadership in California.” More than praising the state for helping it, the company stresses how it is relevant to the Golden State. After all, it shared a “positive economic growth” with California and its residents.

Tesla talked about how many people it employs in the state (47,000), how much it pays in taxes (around $1 billion in federal, state, and local taxes), and so forth. It is a rather long text about all benefits it offers California. Despite that, there is not a single line there that suggests what Tesla intended to do with such a blog post.

The last time the company talked about the same subjects was to try to stop the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) from suing it for “systematic racial discrimination and harassment.” Tesla used a threatening tone – suggesting it was willing to close Fremont and move everything to Texas. It did not work. The California DMV even accused Tesla of misleading its customers by promising them Autopilot and Full Self-Driving, which leads us to the main probable reason for Tesla’s blog post.

On September 13, Gavin Newsom signed into law Senate Bill 1398, which states that “a manufacturer or dealer shall not name any partial driving automation feature (...) using language that implies (...) that the feature allows the vehicle to function as an autonomous vehicle.” That turned Autopilot and FSD naming illegal in California starting on January 1, 2023.

We have no idea if Tesla ceased using these names in California, but we suspect it didn’t. After all, these names are on its U.S. website, which is the same for all American states. Tesla would have to give up using these names in the entire country or make a website version that would not load them with Californian IP addresses.

While we wait to see how Tesla will comply with the new law, this unusual blog post about its California footprint will just float above all possible explanations for it with a single certainty: it is not random. Whatever the EV maker attempted to achieve with it, we’ll only understand it some time from now if we ever get there. As we mentioned at the beginning of this text, Tesla is not very fond of communication – even when it seems to have something to say.
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About the author: Gustavo Henrique Ruffo
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Motoring writer since 1998, Gustavo wants to write relevant stories about cars and their shift to a sustainable future.
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