Tuesday, 01 June 2021 10:59

Texans Aren't Allowed to Buy Texas-Built Teslas

Written by Fabienne Lang, Interesting Engineering
Texans Aren't Allowed to Buy Texas-Built Teslas roschetzkylstockPhoto/iStock


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If Tesla wants to sell its EVs made in Texas to Texans, it first has to send them out of the state or find incredible workaround systems. 

Given Tesla's gigafactory in Austin plans to open its doors soon, it seems counterproductive for Tesla to ship those Texas-made EVs out of the state before Texans are officially allowed to buy them. 


It all comes down to Texas' franchise law, reported The Drive, which the state legislature didn't change this time around. It likely won't do so at least until 2023, when it will reconvene.


The Texas legislature reportedly ran out of time to make any changes to its dealership franchise laws, which block companies like Tesla from directly selling or delivering their locally-made vehicles to state residents. Instead, Tesla has to sell its cars to independent third-party dealerships who in turn sell them to residents.


That doesn't mean Tesla can't sell its EVs to Texans, it simply means it has to find innovative ways to do so. For instance, Tesla has a number of "galleries," per The Drive, in which Texans can take a look at Teslas, but employees aren't allowed to mention pricing. 


Texans can also simply jump online to Tesla's website to purchase their EV, but those EVs must not be made in Tesla's Texas factory. Once the vehicle is ready and has been paid for online, it's shipped to one of Tesla's service centers where the new owner can go and pick it up---so the EV has not been delivered, in compliance with the law. 


No concrete details have been shared by either Tesla or CEO Elon Musk, but a recent Twitter post from Musk made clear his thoughts on the matter, as he stated...

..."Tesla sure would appreciate changing the law, so that this is not required!"---"this" referring to shipping Texas-built Teslas out of state before sending them back in. 


The bill in question, HB 4379, was put forward after Tesla announced Austin was going to be the home of its next gigafactory, but it stalled during these recent legislature meetings. 


So it looks like Tesla will have to stick to its Texas loophole antics for at least the next two years.


We thank Interesting Engineering for reprint permission. 


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