Why Texas Bans The Sale Of Tesla Cars


When you’re about to compete in your first electric car race, brace yourself for the sound … of silence. But don’t let those quiet engines fool you because these days, quiet means fast.

With every major car company looking for a share of the booming electric car market, the competition to go faster and further for cheaper has become an all-out war. Detroit, Japan and Germany are all represented, but right now, an unlikely newcomer is getting top honors: the Tesla Model S.

It’s being hailed as a game changer. It’s the first electric car to win Motor Trend’s Car of the Year; an unprecedented 99 out of 100 rating from Consumer Reports; and now, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it’s also the safest car ever.

But if the Model S really is the car of the future, then why has Texas banned its sales in the state and why are lawmakers in several other states trying to do the same?

To answer that, first you need to meet Tesla CEO Elon Musk. He plans on opening 50 new Tesla stores in the next year. And taking a page from the Apple playbook, Musk is selling his product directly to consumers. No hard sell. No commission for employees. And uniform prices at every store.

Why Texas Bans The Sale Of Tesla Cars [continued]


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  • Russell Simpkins

    New car dealers are the definition of corporatism they have demonized the used car dealer and influenced politicians for years to kill competition. I am not at the least surprised to see this I was expecting to hear of Musk being found dead, or child porn being found on his office computer.

  • johngalt80

    Any legislators voting to ban “certain” products should be voted out of office… Texas? Clearly, they can be bought and sold by lobbyists and don’t understand competition and the Free Market.

    • texaschris

      Texas may be one of the freest states in the US, but the bar is set really, really low.

  • Jimi Harris

    Keeping Safeway, Kroger and H.E. Butt in mind, I guess that every farmers market is in violation of the franchise law. I think Tesla should challenge this law based on this idea.

    • texaschris

      Only if those farmers markets put up signs claiming to be Kroger, HEB, etc.

      In Texas, if you want to sell a new car, you must get a dealer’s license. It is nothing but a naked attempt to protect the middleman (the car dealer) from having the consumer (you) buy directly from the manufacturer.

      Tesla wants to sell their cars directly to the public, no middleman, which means a cheaper car for you, and no profit for the car lot.

  • David

    While there are many bad new car dealers, and I cannot say I am personally a big fan of the cronyism that this story is about, I am always surprised by the hypocrisy from supposedly pro liberty people on articles relating to these supposedly David vs. Goliath types of companies. While from one side of their mouths they are justly complaining about the car dealers trying to stifle competition, from the other they are crying for a business that has survived primarily from the very same cronyism. While Musk started with a lot of money from his PayPal sale, is tenacious, and has made many good business decisions, the simple fact is that his company largely stayed in business for a long time by selling credits to other companies (government driven) as well as selling electric powertrain components to companies (largely government driven due to regulations). In addition it got a big government loan. Just as a speculation, how many of its suppliers do you suppose are among the numerous battery companies and such supposedly “Green Energy” companies that have gotten some of the billions in subsidies, grants and loans? One would have to be pretty blind to believe none of that has trickled down to Tesla.

  • texaschris

    Simple case of cronyism in Texas. These “franchise” owners want to maintain a monopoly on the right to purchase directly from the manufacturer, thereby cornering the market on a giant markup. They’re dinosaur middlemen in the age of buying direct, so they turn to government for the required force to maintain their advantage.

  • Tim

    Are we sure they are “banning” them? Or just saying you can’t “register” them (which is optional anyway). Anyone have more info?