Texas to Tesla: Get off my lawn...

Tesla Store Toronto
© Tesla

Lone star state is closed for business...

Tesla might have won a battle in the relatively small state of Maryland, but it was just served a defeat on the larger battleground of Texas. The Californian electric car maker has been fighting for years to be able to sell its EVs directly in the state, but despite some positive developments at the governor's mansion, a bill that would have opened the doors was spiked before reaching the legislature, proving once again that auto dealer lobbyists can pretty much outgun anyone there.

© Tesla

In short: The lone star state is not open for business, at least not if it could create competition for incumbents who are comfortably encroached.

As I explained previously, the laws that the auto dealers are using to block Tesla were never intended for that purpose. They originally were created to protect consumers from collusion and from automakers competing with their own dealers. Using it to reduce competition and make life harder for consumers is the opposite of the spirit of the law.

Elon Musk described the current laws restricting Tesla’s operations as “extremely un-Texan." He added: "The law currently says in order to sell a car in Texas you have to sell through a franchise dealer. This exists only for alcohol and cars, which is weird.”

I wonder if things would have been different if Tesla had decided to put its $5 billion battery Gigafactory in Texas rather than Nevada... Maybe when they want to build Gigafactory #2 they can use that as a bargaining chip with Texas ("Hey guys, we'd love to build our massive factory here, but if we can't even sell our electric cars in the state directly, well...").

© Tesla

Via Texas Tribune, Ars Technica

Tags: Electric Cars | Electric Vehicles | Texas

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