Tesla has a long-running battle with outdated, pro-dealership laws. This is about to create a somewhat awkward situation in Texas. Texas’ legislature has glossed over a bill that would let Tesla sell directly to customers.
So basically, because that old law was not taken care of, Tesla will more than likely have to ship cars from its upcoming Austin-area Gigafactory out of the state before they can be sold and driven back into Texas.
Theoretically, the state could call a special legislative session to resolve the issue but that is also something that is considered likely to occur. The next meeting of the Texas legislators isn’t scheduled until 2023.
Elon Musk is, of course, unhappy with the situation. He said that Tesla ‘sure would appreciate’ a change in the law to avoid having to do this workaround.
The new proposed law will give any automaker the right to sell directly to customers in Texas as long as the vehicles were entirely electric and weren’t sold through dealerships. That will open the door to Tesla competitors Rivian as well.
Texas is nowhere near the only state that has these outdated laws that protect the dealership model. Luckily, it is also not the only state where reforms have been proposed.
For example, there is legislation that is in-progress in Connecticut that would let Tesla sell cars directly to consumers. The thing is, though, these other states don’t have EV factories. Texas is in a unique position in which it builds cars that it is not allowed to sell where they are built.
Think about that.
If you are a Texan, living in Texas, working at a Tesla factory in Texas, building cars in Texas, you are not allowed to buy that car in Texas.