The love affair between California and Elon Musk has started to sour.
Musk’s electric-car company, Tesla Inc., is California’s dream of a greener economy made real, growing from scrappy Silicon Valley startup to the world’s second-most-valuable automaker. Politicians point to his Los Angeles rocket company, SpaceX — poised to carry astronauts to the International Space Station on Wednesday — as an emblem of Golden State ingenuity.
But Musk, seeking a fertile market for his pickup truck and an economical place to build it, is staging a show of pique. He has slammed coronavirus shutdowns as “fascist” and reopened his California factory against local government orders. He is considering Texas for a factory that would plant Tesla’s flag in a red state where trucks reign supreme and appeal to a new swath of customers: conservatives.
“Elon raising this issue and being seen as anti-California will resonate a lot with people on the right,” said Subodh Bhat, a marketing…