Elon takes on Texas...tweets for help...

Elon takes on Texas...tweets for help...

From his twitter acct: "Auto dealers in Texas are trying to stop Tesla. Would appreciate your help in fighting for what's right"

Followed by "If you support Tesla in Texas, please contact your state Senate or House member. Free enterprise!"

Yelmurc | 30. März 2013

Does anyone have a link to the actual bil? I'd like to point my representative to it.

teslajolt | 30. März 2013

The current Auto Dealer model is horrible. I hope the Tesla business model takes off and other will follow.

The last time I went to a dealership was to help a friend buy new Honda CRV. the 1st thing I told the sales man was that expect my buying experience to be the same as going to best buy and buy a toaster. I told him how much I wanted to pay ($4000 less the asking price) and I knew that he had to go talk to his manager, then I told him if he returns with a counter offer I would walk right out, told that I want to buy a car, but it does not have to be from him. so he went to his manager, then the manager comes back with him, before he even opened his mouth, I told him the same thing I told the other guy, that is if he tries to counter my offer, I would walk right out. he then asked me, why am I being like that, and I told him straight out. I hate this crap... I just want to buy a car like I buy a toaster. that shut him up and we got the car for the price that I wanted.. but then they wanted to sell all kinds of extended warranty for this and that. then tried to get us to finance... grrrrr I hate the current Auto Dealership experience.

roseland67 | 30. März 2013

auto dealers in Texas. $$$$$$$. >>>>>>>. Texas legislators
Law passed, simple.
Tesla sues, takes complaint to Supreme Court, wins,
People can buy Tesla in Texas.

L8MDL | 30. März 2013

Here's the bill, obviously directly written for Tesla. I propose an email avalanche....

Introduced by Eddie Rodriquez

L8MDL | 30. März 2013
GeekEV | 31. März 2013

@teslajolt - I agree 1,000,000%. Thinking back, that may be at least part of the reason I bought both my LEAF (which was sold that way too at first) and my MS. I much prefer that buying experience. No dickering. I tell you what I want, you tell me how much it is, I pay you and off I go. Like buying a toaster. :-)

cb9 | 31. März 2013

+1 @ GeekEV and teslajolt
It was such a relief to walk into the Tesla store knowing the prices were set fairly and I could focus on what I wanted to buy - without having to wonder if I would pay a penalty for not wanting to play that rude little game. And it can get rude - I will never forget a Buick salesman telling me that he was offering me a fair price and if I didn't believe him maybe I should go home and ask my boyfriend's opinion. I walked out. The dealer (last name was the name of the dealer) called to ask about my experience and what he could do to get me in a new car. I told him what happened and then told him I called a competitor that day, asked for a female salesperson and bought the car from her. Btw, before testdriving the MS, I called 3 other dealerships and asked for a female salesperson and none of them had even one. Went to Tesla DC store and met 2 women and one guy who answered my questions, took me out for a drive, and double-checked some things to make sure they were giving me the most accurate answers, in short: all three were bright, competent, well-informed and very helpful. Love, love, love the Tesla buying experience.

L8MDL | 31. März 2013

Here is a discussion on this issue from the Tesla Motors Club pages:

TeslaRocks | 31. März 2013

Illustrated by some of the earlier posts, the contrast is obvious. In short, direct distribution with excellent, professional, and friendly customer service is the future. I'm glad Tesla got that, even though flawless customer service is not exactly easy to setup.

L8MDL | 01. April 2013

Zenuk: send all info to:

Tesla Headquarters
ATTN: Elon Musk
3500 Deer Creek
Palo Alto, CA 94304

dstiavnicky | 02. April 2013

WTF! All that freedom of choice and freedom of speech and yet you can't buy one of the best America made products ever built? Maybe Texas just wants some of the jobs? Or maybe Texas want to keep oil dependancy? Again WTF! Change these stupid laws.

L8MDL | 04. April 2013

Update: the bill in the Texas Senate was heard in public testimony by committee yesterday. It was left "pending in committee", which in my state = DOA (not sure about Texas). The House will hear their version next week.

RanjitC | 06. April 2013

Why cant they write this stuff in English? It looks to me like Tesla can get a dealer registration but no new company will be able to do so in the future. What am I missing?

roseland67 | 06. April 2013


So you have to hire and pay a lawyer to interpret it for you.

bp | 06. April 2013

The bill appears to have been written to allow only Tesla to establish new dealerships in Texas.

The Texas legislature only meets once every two years - for four months - so the window of opportunity is extremely short - and if missed, won't come back around for another 2 years.

What might have had more impact is if Musk had also approached the legislature about putting a SpaceX launch site in Texas...

ArieK | 08. April 2013

Elon is making a personal appearance in Texas tomorrow!

Brian H | 08. April 2013

Will he wear a 20-gallon hat? ;-)

ArieK | 09. April 2013

Shouldn't that be a 20 Kwh hat from now on? ;-)

Teslation | 09. April 2013

I heard Elon is also considering a space launch facility in Texas for Space X.

And I think Houston's Port Arthur area would be a great place for a second Tesla manufacturing facility, when the time comes. Centrally located to car train rails into Mexico and the port is closer to Europe.

Maybe even make pickup truck's there in Texas, which has a huge pickup truck market.

GeekEV | 09. April 2013

@ArieK - Based on wikipedia's definition of a gasoline gallon equivalent that would actually be a 668 kWh hat. ;-p

AndrejM | 09. April 2013

Well so how did it go? with the TX state...

sayidreddy | 09. April 2013

I have been listening to the Texas Tesla hearing and the Texas Auto Dealer Asssociation representative just said that the chevrolet volt was more "technologically" advanced than the Tesla Model S. Crazy. He also contradicted himself by saying that we just give the consumers choice in the market but then says it must be limited through the dealership model because direct sales would negatively affect the consumers in service, price etc. But when someone asked him if that were true, the Tesla customers could go to some other manufacturer because it is a free market. He essentially had no response. I hope this bill goes Tesla's way.

frmercado | 09. April 2013

Does anyone know if the hearing will be available to watch later?

PorfirioR | 09. April 2013

By the way, the SpaceX bill (House Bill 2623) unanimously passed in Texas earlier today. This is not yet the full vote by the State Legislature but I wondered who scheduled this Committee vote to coincide with the day of the Tesla hearing. That was either brilliant or brilliantly stupid, depending on who did it.

I like how the press release quotes an official as saying after the vote "although SpaceX has not made a final decision to relocate to the area...".

Talk about giving somebody the upper hand...

sayidreddy | 09. April 2013

@frmercado Yes it will be at in the next day or two under the Business and Industry hearing for April 9. The Tesla portion will be towards the ending of the session.

frmercado | 09. April 2013

@sayidreddy Thanks for the info.

ArieK | 13. April 2013

Update from Elon in Texas. He has resorted to dangling a new factory in front of their noses to help sweeten the deal and pass 'his' bill.
New reference is made to a future Tesla pickup. Wonder why you would build that in a different factory if it's based on a platform made in CA (model S skateboard). Sounds more like politics than efficiency.

Teslation | 13. April 2013

The reason for a separate factory, maybe because the Tesla pickup truck would have few parts in common with other Tesla vehicles. The battery mIght be different too. And Elon's just doing a little mid to long range planning, 5+ years out, after the first plant gets filled to compacity.

A good location in Texas would have port access to Gulf of Mexico and closer shopping to Africa, Europe and South America.

And also there are car trains from Texas to Canada, Mexico and various points in the USA.

The whole thing reminds me a little of the movie "Atlas Shrugged" part 1, (didn't see part 2 yet). And who would Elon be ? John Reardon of Rearson steel ? Dagney the train line scion & magnate ? Can't say I agree with everything about Ayn Rand's Objectivism philosophy; but she makes a few good points.

The funny & ironic thing is conservatives in Texas probably all love Ayn Rand.

Guess you have to "fight fire with fire" sometimes", (American colloquialism: use similar tactics).

Brian H | 13. April 2013

To avoid having to ship most of the trucks sold across the Continental Divide?

Teslation | 13. April 2013


Even though Tesla may charge a flat delivery fee, freight is billed by the mile as far as I know. And when you get up to hundreds of thousands of vehicles per year, it might be a little more convenient and cost efficient for Tesla.

I know Mexican car plants already ship cars to USA by rail.

When you have 5000 cars coming off the Tesla car plant assembly line per week, they are going to start piling up pretty quick.

Benz | 13. April 2013

This is a good article about why Tesla Motors should be allowed to sell its cars directly to customers.

Joel N. Weber II | 13. April 2013

One thing I found striking about the Megafactories tour of the Tesla Factory is that the final assembly was shown as being done by hand.

If all US final assembly is always done in California, then there's roughly a three day delay shipping to the east coast. That's sort of irrelevant with the multi-month delays between placing a reservation and taking delivery as has been happening, but if the backlog gets reduced near 0, that three day lag may get annoying.

I bet that shipping the 26 or 27 different body color / roof combinations, the different interiors, the different tires, etc to various factories closer to various buyers that only do final assembly, in quantities that reflect estimated expected orders, would allow for a faster experience, and it looks like this would allow all of the robotic steps to still happen at the main Tesla Factory.

Teslation | 14. April 2013


"...Why you would build that (a Tesla pickup truck [sic] ) in a different factory (in Texas [sic])..."

Well as the good preacher says if you want converts, you won't find them preaching to the choir in church in Cali. They are already converted.

Instead you got to go to where the carbonated heathens are in the belly of the beast where those suffocating wanton hydrocarbon ICE lovers are, and that's Texas.

Houston is good. They have smog problems there. Lots of convert potential.

As an added bonus, Houston Space Center area may have lots of aerospace engineers for hiring into SpaceX.

ArieK | 14. April 2013

@Tesluthian: good point.
Now that you mention smog, SpaceX and Texas in one post, I couldn't help but think about the sizeable testfacility SpaceX has in McGregor,Texas.
It seems like Elon already donated enough smog to Texas to offset a full years worth of Tesla output ;-)

Teslation | 14. April 2013


Thnx for Vid. Not up on all SpaceX stuff and plans.

Did I read at one time SpaceX was considering Brownsville, Tx as a launch point? All the way at the southeast tip of Tx by the coast. Not heavily populated.

Is the strategy launching rockets to do so over water in case something goes wrong it falls back down into the water rather than populated land ? Houston is actually a bad launch area, lots of oil refinery facilities their for an errant rocket to hit. Needs to be hurricane proof as well.

On rocket pollution, Elon did admit that even he couldn't build an electric space rocket. Maybe next century.

Brian H | 14. April 2013

Take off is hard on electrics, but look up VASIMR. Or ion engines.

Brian H | 14. April 2013

"Once in orbit, you're halfway to anywhere in the solar system."

frmercado | 14. April 2013

@ Brian, also worth mentioning the Hall effect thruster.

frmercado | 14. April 2013

Maybe someone here can help me review this. I went through the entire presentation and it seems sound to me... (the only problem is that I'm an attorney not an engineer, I must admit I'm way out of my depth here).

Is this description of a propellantless space propulsion engine for real or just the ramblings of another charlatan on the internet?

Nantang | 15. April 2013

I'm in Texas, so I wrote to my own representative and senator. It helps when it comes from a constituent.

Meanwhile, I got to do a test drive last month the Texas stop-gap way: by meeting a Tesla Model S owner and driving his car. He was very generous in sharing, and the car itself is even more impressive in person.

Brian H | 15. April 2013

I bet some owner could make out like a bandit by selling 1-hr test drives for $200.

Noah.S | 16. April 2013

Anyone know what the status of this is now?

ArieK | 16. April 2013

It looks like Elon isn't waiting for the outcome! We may have to start a new thread: Elon takes on the rest of the US.

L8MDL | 16. April 2013

Both bills are "left pending in committee" as of now. Most likely DOA for this session as neither have been added to any future meeting agendas.

jk2014 | 16. April 2013

Dealers want a piece of the action, no matter how small the car company. Tesla is big money already. Got to go franchise at some point. I think if they give a metric for when that will happen, might avoid more legal action.

Not sure going federal will be best option. Takes time. Dealers in big sale states can shut it down right away.

L8MDL | 16. April 2013

I like Elon's idea to build a truck factory in Texas, although I'm sure the Ford Motor Company isn't too thrilled...stay tuned!

L8MDL | 16. April 2013

Elon may bump this to a Federal level:

Vawlkus | 17. April 2013

No dealers. I, for one, do NOT want to have to deal with car salesmen EVER again.

L8MDL | 23. April 2013

Update - HB3351 was modified to limit sales to 5,000 cars/year to avoid a "dealership". It passed out of committee and will be heard on the floor...

GeekEV | 23. April 2013

Well, that's something at least. Obviously not ideal, but that should tide Tesla over for a while as they continue to pursue other avenues.