Science & Technology



Welcome to Musklandia: Austin adjusts to life with Tesla and its eccentric billionaire boss Elon Musk

Kara Carlson, Austin American-Statesman on

Published in Science & Technology News

While the $1.1 billion Tesla manufacturing facility and Tesla's planned headquarters move to Austin have drawn the most attention, Musk's ventures have been quietly expanding in Central Texas for some time now. They include Musk's tunneling and infrastructure company, the Boring Co., which has facilities in Pflugerville and Bastrop; a potential SpaceX expansion somewhere in Austin; a potential Neuralink office; and the headquarters of his private foundation, the Musk Foundation.

Also, a Tesla subsidiary, Tesla Energy, was recently licensed to operate as an energy provider in Texas, according to documents filed with the Texas Public Utility Commission. The company is already building the first Tesla solar neighborhood in Austin, called SunHouse at Easton Park, with solar- and alternative-powered energy.

Meanwhile, SpaceX — Musk's aerospace and rocket company — has multiple facilities around Texas, including a launch site near Boca Chica in far South Texas.

What's not clear is whether Musk has a residence in Austin. Although various media outlets have listed Austin as his home, he has never publicly confirmed that. Musk announced last year that he had moved to Texas but said his main residence is a small home near Boca Chica on the SpaceX campus.

Whether Musk actually lives in Austin or not, his influence in and impact on Central Texas can't be denied.

Kay said the influx of Tesla and other Musk-related companies will lead to higher salaries in the local tech industry, as well as add to the region's already booming housing market and send real estate prices even higher.


"For some people there will be good opportunities. Other people," Kay said, "are going to be irritated."

'Most powerful voice in the world'

One of the places where Musk has drawn the most attention — and perhaps created the most irritation — has been on social media. Musk is active on Twitter, where he has more than 63 million followers.

With his immense wealth and such a huge audience, the influence of what Musk posts on social media shouldn't be downplayed, Ives said.


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