First NC, now Texas. Pathetic

First NC, now Texas. Pathetic

NC and Texas reaffirm their staunch records as back-assward, oil-loving lobbyist panderers. This is just the beginning though. TM will prevail.

Cattledog | May 25, 2013

As someone who lives in San Antonio, this is lame. I hope Tesla takes this fight to federal court so they don't have to fund lawsuits in dozens of states.

carlk | May 25, 2013

"Musk may derive some consolation from the Senate passing two bills — HB 2623 and HB 1791 — that would help his company Space Exploration Technologies Corp., better known as SpaceX, establish the world’s first commercial orbital launch site in Texas." think that will still happen?

bsimoes | May 25, 2013

Cattledog--I took your poll; I voted for the stock b/c I already have the car!

If I were Elon, I guess I would consider moving the launch site to another state; that would get some attention, I'm sure. The money involved must be astronomical--no pun intended, and I'm sure that another state would be very grateful for the business it would bring.

txjak | May 25, 2013

Actually, there were two bills, one in the House and one in the Senate. The House Bill (HB3351) actually got out of committee, but the Senate Bill (SB1659) did not. Both bills would have to get out of committee for starters. It seemed like the Senate Bill was nixed by Senator Dan Patrick at the Senate Transportation Committee hearing from the start.

Carefree | May 25, 2013

Patrick's main achievemnt seems to be to place "in God we trust" permanently in the Senate chamber for the first time in history;

WOW - that says it all! What a monumental achievement.

I'm sure that'll guarantee him a place in heaven:-)

Andre-nl | May 25, 2013

"I would consider moving the launch site to another state"

A launch site must be as close to the equator as possible. In reality there are only 2 viable candidates: Florida and Texas.

SamO | May 25, 2013

TX, unlike NC, isn't trying to prohibit interstate sales. It's still hypothetically possible to buy a Model S in TX.

NC is trying to make telephone calls and the internet illegal.

This isn't going to end well.

ramtaz | May 25, 2013

You can still buy a TESLA in TEXAS!! NC wants to outlaw them!

bsimoes | May 25, 2013

I just found this on and found it quite amusing and so Elon! I'm referring to the Dr. Seuss comment:

Musk talks Tesla sales in Texas in this Texas Tribune interview. He was in Austin recently to talk to the Legislature about Tesla being able to sell directly to customers bypassing the current laws that force cars to be sold through a dealership.

Our total sales would be maybe 0.1 percent of all cars sold in Texas. There’s 3.1 million new cars sold in Texas every year — we’re talking maybe 1,500. So it’s not like this is taking food from the mouths of auto dealers; this is just a crumb. You’d think they’d be willing to compromise, but we’ve tried every possible compromise, and they’ve just said no, no, no, nothing. It’s like Dr. Seuss, green eggs and ham. They won’t do it in a house, they won’t do it on a mouse.

Musk noted the difference in turnout between Tesla supporters vs. the auto dealership supporters in the House hearings.

When they had the House hearing yesterday, there were five people that showed up to testify for the Auto Dealers Association. They were all employed by the Auto Dealers Association. There were 47 people that testified for Tesla. Two of them were employed by Tesla.

Tesla is working on this same issue, with some success, in other states.

bsimoes | May 25, 2013
David Trushin | May 25, 2013

I'm not a rocket scientist, but other than the fact that access to geosynchronous orbits is facilitated by launch near the equator, what other reason would make it a requirement? Orbital launches have been done in California and Virginia and likely other places.

lolachampcar | May 25, 2013

Texans pride themselves on being hard headed even if it conflicts with their equally well developed common sense. Common sense will win out in the end; it will just take a while.

hsadler | May 25, 2013

Hmmm.... Wallops Island, Va - Vandenburg, Ca
Seem to be doing fine for orbital launches after many years.
Texas fought hard to get Manned Space Ops located there - and it was a boon for Houston. It could have been placed anywhere.
Launch facilities, however, have a few restrictions, but distance to the equator is not a big concern. (go south, turn left - what we have always said)

john | May 25, 2013

I believe it is call spaceport America and space x has a terminal there, it is in New Mexico.

scoops | May 25, 2013

So the US government provides a half a billion dollar loan to help grow an electric car company, along with a tax incentive to consumers to buy the cars, meanwhile individual states do their best to try and prevent the company from selling the cars.


hsadler | May 25, 2013

Las Cruces, NM

Closest 'big' town is El Paso, Tx and most of the employees live there. (no state income tax)
So, Texas does get some benefit.

jbunn | May 25, 2013


You want to be as close to the equator as possible because the speed of the earth relative to a stationary point in space is highest at the equator, and lowest at the poles. For the same reason, you want to launch heading East, which is the direction the earth spins. You get a slight advantage of a couple thousand miles an hour in ground speed than heading in the opposite direction. Secondly, you want a ground track that does not pass over populated areas. Sometimes stuff blows up, and you don't want it raining down everywhere. The Cape in Florida exists there for those reasons. Ground track over water, and far south as practical.

I think it makes more sense for Space X to continue to lease launch facilities from the Cape. Lots of space and existing infrastructure. Use the Tesla NUMMI model. Why buy new when you can get good stuff for pennies on a dollar. NASA's VAB for example is probably near empty right now, and has a number of high bays that would support massive Saturn 5 sized rockets.

Andre-nl | May 25, 2013

David Trushin,

All launches into orbit take advantage of the extra speed you get when launching from close to the equator, not just geosynchronous orbits. It increases your payload capacity.

Why do you think the ESA transports its Ariane rockets all the way to their launch site in Kourou, French Guyana?

AlMc | May 25, 2013

getting back to the NC/Texas standoff with Tesla: recent CNBC

TI Sailor | May 25, 2013

I guess it's a good thing I didn't go to law school. I simply don't understand how the fact "Nearly all states _ 48 _ require manufacturers to sell their vehicles through dealerships to ensure the companies don't undercut their own network of franchised dealers" applies to a company which doesn't have franchised dealers to begin with. There's no one to undercut.

I also don't understand this: "Steve Schwinn, a professor of constitutional law at the John Marshall Law School, said such a case could prove difficult. He pointed to a 2001 decision in U.S. Circuit Court in a case involving Ford and the state of Texas. The court rejected Ford's claim that the state's law preventing the company from selling used cars through its own website violated the Commerce Clause." Since Ford DID have dealerships in Texas, it doesn't seem to me the interstate commerce clause would apply. Again, since Tesla doesn't have dealerships, why would this law be cited as a precedent?

Any lawyers out there willing to help me see the rational for either of the above?

AlMc | May 25, 2013

@T1 SAilor: You are making too much sense...This disqualifies you from elected office in the states of NC and Texas

SamO | May 25, 2013

TI Sailor,

You hit the nail on the head.

The difference is that FORD is in competition with their dealerships, a vampire-squid-like death-grip that will destroy them both.

The only rationale is that Texas is trying to protect their own LOCAL businesses over business in CA. This type of favoritism is forbidden under the commerce clause.

Tesla has to get a case in NC where the state tries to prevent Tesla from selling via the internet or phone and they'll probably win.

In TX, they can have showrooms, but can't conduct sales.

TI Sailor | May 25, 2013

NC is particularly interesting since it's long been a destination for consumers looking to buy factory-direct furniture at reasonable prices. I guess people buying tables, chairs and sofas don't need to be protected as much as those buying cars...

Brian H | May 25, 2013

From the CNBC piece: "Francine Lafontaine, a University of Michigan economist who specializes in franchising, said ...
"For someone who is kind of in business and looking at business models, it's not obvious the car industry is so different, but it's the only industry retail-wise that's protected to this extent."

Campaign contributions.

TI Sailor | May 25, 2013

Those of you who follow motorsports have heard of Rick Hendrick. His company, Hendrick Automotive Group, has 37 dealerships in North Carolina alone, and 50 in other states, including TX, VA, FL, CA, TN, and SC among others.

Makes he sells include: Acura, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Honda, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes Benz, Mini Cooper, Porsche, Scion and Toyota.

I'm sure Mr. Hendrick does everything he can to protect his own interests, but I'm not as confident he's truly looking out for his fellow North Carolineans (NASCAR fans excepted).

trydesky | May 25, 2013

I live in NC and it's truly embarrassing. I wrote my local state senator(D), and he responded with meaningless drivel.

To add to the pain, the latest state budget calls for a $100 yearly tax on electric cars ($50 plug-in Hybrids). This is suppose to go to the highways because the road tax is in the price of gasoline.

TI Sailor | May 26, 2013

I mentioned the makes Hendrick sells because I can see the following scenario at their premium group (Acura, BMW, Cadillac, Land Rover, Lexus, M-B and Porsche) sales meeting:

Mr Hendrick: I want every sales manager here to understand they are free to compete.

Sales Mgr #1: Wow, that's great! I know I can give our customers some great deals.

Mr. Hendrick: Well, I guess I'd better clarify what I mean. You can compete on features, but as far as margins go, well that's a different story.

Sales Mgr #2: No problem. I make most of my profit off service anyway.

Mr. Hendrick: Yeah. I guess I should also mention the markup I expect on all parts, as well as the labor cost per hour all of you will charge. Oops, almost forgot to tell you how you will determine the number of hours to charge for each service line item.

Sales Mgr #3: If everything is this predetermined, who are we actually competing against?

Mr. Hendrick: Well, it was Tesla, but no longer. I made some phone calls...

ColonyGolfer | May 26, 2013

trydesky: A 3 step solution for you:

1. Look at how much your electric bill has gone up with your MS.

2. Check the detail level on your bill and you will see how much tax you are paying on this increase elec consumption due to charging your MS.

3. Write your senator again and see if you can get that amount as a credit toward your $100 user fee.

4. Post your result here so we can see how these "fairness Senators " respond.

ColonyGolfer | May 26, 2013

To TI Sailor: I guess it's a good thing I didn't go to law school. I simply don't understand how the fact "Nearly all states _ 48 _ require manufacturers to sell their vehicles through dealerships to ensure the companies don't undercut their own network of franchised dealers" applies to a company which doesn't have franchised dealers to begin with. There's no one to undercut"

This phrase was nearly word-for-word the ruling interpretation used by the judge in Massachusetts when he told the dealers to take a hike.

TikiMan | May 26, 2013

Simple solution for Tesla for these states...

1) Have one of Elon's sons create a franchise dealership (i.e. EMTM).
2) Have EMTM buy a variety of 'Tesla Dealerships' in both Texas and NC.
3) Place the dealerships next to Benz, Porsche, BMW, Jag etc dealerships in known auto-malls.
4) Build the 'showroom' and 'service center' at the same 'EMTM - Tesla Dealerships'.
5) Open a few Tesla showrooms at shopping malls near these 'dealerships', where they can show the vehicle, and guide the interested customers to the local 'EMTM -Tesla' dealerships.
6) Keep the same business model at the 'EMTM - Tesla' dealerships, where a customer shows up, orders the MS of their choosing, they are presented a non-negotiable price, make a deposit, and pickup their car at the dealership when it is ready.

Would the car dealership association figure this is just a 'work-around'... YES, however, that is how 99% of many large businesses get around paying taxes, so it's completely legal, and they would just have to shut the FUC% UP, and deal with it, because it would be completely legal!

FYI... Walmart doesn't actually own it's stores, they have a sister company that owns them, and Walmart Inc. leases its stores from its sister company, and in-turn writes-off all of the lease fees. Win-Win.

The REALITY these 'communist' states don't seem to understand is; they already have laws that 'THEY' have created which would make it VERY easy for Tesla to do this. These moronic policy makers are their own worst enemies!!!! LOL!!!!

bp | May 26, 2013

The Texas legislature only meets once every two years and the Texas dealers are very well organized.

While the legislature didn't pass the bill to provide Tesla a limited exemption to the dealer laws - it also didn't try to outlaw Tesla sales in the state.

Tesla and Musk should continue doing what they've been doing. SpaceX should establish a launch site in south Texas. Tesla should continue to sell their cars in Texas - and they should cover the State in superchargers.

And, then spend the next two years working with the legislators and be better prepared to get some relief from the dealer laws and improve the support for Tesla's customers in Texas - who are the ones most impacted by the current dealer laws and restrictions.

Mark Z | May 26, 2013

Texas claims to be pro-business. In this case their claims are false. Texas had their chance. Time for Tesla Stores in Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Let the prospective customers drive over to the neighboring states for the finest vehicle in the world.

SamO | May 26, 2013

State House Speaker Thom Tillis, a fan of high technology, has the power to kill the dealers' bill any time he wants. He took the car on a test drive around Raleigh on Wednesday afternoon.

He and his executive assistant, William Morales, sported grins when they got back.

"I want one!" Morales said as he hopped out of the car.

"I want two!" said Tillis.

Its power amazed him.

"When you accelerated, it's the same sort of feeling I got when I test drove a Mustang Boss, back when I was probably about 23 years old," Tillis said. But instead of the roar of a 1970s muscle car engine, "it just seemed to get quieter and quieter as you're going."

Tillis wouldn't commit when asked if he would stifle the auto dealers' bill. He said he would study it and consult other lawmakers, "but there's got to be a pretty strong case for why we shouldn't allow the current law to continue."

He understands that the dealers have concerns. He also wants to encourage American manufacturing innovation.

"Any American story on going from engineering to product, with the majority of the engineering and manufacturing occurring in the United States - that's a great American success story."

hsadler | May 26, 2013

Damn that Tesla grin !!!

Brian H | May 26, 2013

TM plays a trump card, and addicts the Speaker. Shocking! ;)

negarholger | May 26, 2013

Why not give him a permanent loaner... and another two for his staff to use. I guess the staff will organize a lottery who can use it today. And put a supercharger close to his office.

Brian H | May 26, 2013

I think such perks would attract bribery charges and impeachment. If he's the "wrong" party, anyway.

SamO | May 27, 2013

Senate dems and repubs voted unanimously in the Senate to ban direct/internet sales. Both parties have been severely corrupted to favor local businesses over a California business.

This is the reason we have the commerce clause forbidding favoritism of local over interestate commerce.

These laws will eventually fail.

daoops | May 27, 2013

I think we should give that car-dealer network club thing a break. How would you feel if you tried to sell tv's in the 1960's and a dude showed up selling 100" ultra flat screens next door? (And then says he can put a man on the moon for 0.3% of the cost, that competition would be a bit unfair) I mean, it is not their fault that society moves forward. And perhaps people do not like to buy dell and apple, they just don't know that they don't, you don't know that for sure and it is good that a lobby group knows that for you. And who will sponsor the ymca and the local soccer team if not the car customers? Sometimes it is just better to let things be the way they were. And do you really want to be the one that stops the global warming project anyway, there are actually people freezing in the more northern parts of the world. Iceland (ice-land, no pun, this is serious business) has beaches they want to use as well. And the bribe-association give tesla all the oppotunites to work with them, its just that tiny thing that they can't own the stores themselves. That tiny tiny thing. Like the romans said, we should salute them (who are about to ...)

Brian H | May 28, 2013

No, it was the reverse: We who are about to die salute you, said the gladiators to the crowd. Please be amused!

Winnie796 | May 28, 2013

As a European following this saga, I have to say is both funny and sad all at once. America prides itself on its freedoms and market economy but the attitude of some states is medieval. They laud Apple as an American success story but do the same within the automobile sector and it's a witch-hunt. It's pathetic to watch.

biwamura | May 28, 2013

What else would you expect from a red neck state!!!

Jolanda | May 28, 2013

A few years ago, I would have refused if you had offered me an American car free of charge. Now in a few months we will have two of those on our Dutch driveway.

So I fully understand these car dealers. If you try to sell those crap cars, you need a lot of protection against this new kid on the block.

The European car makers have missed the opportunity to make a high quality EV. But all the other car brands have also strugled to make something we would like to own.

Brian H | May 28, 2013

I think in the early days, a few carriage-makers tried to patch in engines. None survived, AFAIK.

daoops | May 28, 2013

Brian H, youre quite righ as so often before. Had a bit of ac/dc in my head (For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)). Speaking of which, should not NCADA ban ac/dc? Im sure it offends them in some way.

carlk | May 28, 2013

@Jolanda I think there are two scenarios. US car dealers don't want to start an exception of direct company sell. European car dealers just don't want Tesla to be sold in the state. Too bad that the legislators went along and played a dirty trick on an American car company.

mramseyWSJ | June 4, 2013

Hey folks - I am looking to talk to a Tesla Model S owner or future owner from NC or SC or a close by state who has a stake in the Tesla/NC situation.

I'm a reporter with The Wall Street Journal. Please contact me at and I want to write a story about Elon vs. The Guys in Plaid. | June 4, 2013



Thanks Mike - I hope someone comes forward (I'm in Virginia --- land of the NADA).

HzSoGood | June 5, 2013

Newswire: San Antonio, Tx:
Gov. Perry is pissed at coming in second to North Carolina. Urges state lawmakers to reject Tesla request to sell direct and once again gain the top spot on the leadership board as the dumbest state in America.

RedShift | June 5, 2013

+1 Ramsey.

Happy owner in CA, but hope you get someone to talk to soon.