Live

Watch CBSN Live

Mayor of Tulsa suggests police will use Tesla Cybertrucks if Elon Musk moves factory there

Cybertruck pre-orders hit nearly 200,000

Earlier this month, Elon Musk threatened to remove Tesla production from California and take his business elsewhere. Now, one mayor is raising his hand to offer his city as Tesla's new home.

"If @Tesla and #Tulsa team up to change the world, it would only be right to #BuyLocal. #cybertruck @elonmusk," Mayor G.T. Bynum tweeted on Sunday, sharing a photo of Tesla's Cybertruck emblazoned with a police logo –  an apparent tactic to woo Musk to Oklahoma. 

The head-turning Cybertruck gained widespread attention when Musk unveiled the boxy, futuristic design at a demonstration in Los Angeles last November. Musk told an audience the truck is "literally bulletproof" against small types of firearms. However, during the demonstration, design lead Franz Von Holzhausen was asked to try and smash the Cybertruck's "armor glass" – and it completely shattered. 

Many criticized the truck and Musks' overly optimistic sell of the new vehicle. However, later that month, the Dubai Police Force teased that they would be adding the Cybertruck to their fleet of police cars.

It appears that in his campaign to convince Musk to move to Oklahoma, Bynum is promising to utilize the Cybertrucks if they are manufactured locally in Tulsa.

In another post, Bynum said while he can't "comment on potential projects," he believes "Tesla and Tulsa were forged in the same spirit."

"Both founded by pioneers who dreamt big and made it happen," Bynum's social media post continued. "Both trying to change the world with a new kind of energy. Both investing big in what matters most: people."

"Tulsa is a city that doesn't stifle entrepreneurs - we revere them. And as Tesla continues to rapidly change transportation all around the world, I can't imagine a better place for them to further that important work than Green Country," he wrote.

While Bynum is making the case for Musk to move the car manufacturer to his city, he also revealed that Tulsa recently updated its police car – so there may not be a need for Cybertrucks. 

In a tweet earlier this month, Musk revealed that Tesla is suing California's Alameda County to reopen the Fremont Tesla plant despite the stay-at-home order.

"The unelected & ignorant 'Interim Health Officer' of Alameda is acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms & just plain common sense!" Musk wrote. "Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependen [sic] on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA." 

Days after filing the suit, Musk defied authorities stay-at-home orders by restarting production at the company's Fremont assembly plant. The company reportedly has deployed additional PPE masks and taken other measures similar to those used to reopen the automaker's plant in Shanghai, China.

The Tesla CEO has been a frequent critic of social distancing and stay-at-home regulations. During an April 29 call, Musk called these measures "fascist" and said they posed a "serious risk" to Tesla. However, the measure is seen by many officials as an effective way to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

While he initially announced Texas and Nevada as potential new homes for the Tesla Factory, Musk has reportedly chosen Austin, according to CBS Austin, citing electric car news site Electrek.

In an interview with Tulsa World, Bynum said he couldn't confirm reports about Tesla considering Tulsa or Austin, but he was confident in businesses investing in his city. 

"You are seeing a historic level of investment," Bynum said. "I mean, we're talking over $1 billion in investment in the last three years that has been announced in Tulsa."

"We have been going through a global pandemic for the last two months in this community, and throughout that time we are still getting contacted by companies that want to invest here," he continued. "We are still having discussions with companies that want to invest here."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue