Electric Cars and Texas Politics
Written by Greg on June 22, 2013
The upstart electric car company Tesla has been trying very hard to be able to sell to Texas consumers their electric cars. Many people don’t know it, and probably would be upset if they did, but Tesla Motors is unable to sell their electric cars directly to Texas families.
Tesla’s business model includes direct sales to consumers without dealerships or dealers. In Texas, that means they can’t sell directly to consumers. Despite the efforts of the company to get a bill to the floor to allow the company to sell vehicles directly to Texas families, politics money and business as usual in Texas prevented the bill from reaching the floor.
In the state that takes great pride in “low regulations” and in “free enterprise” the failure to allow the company to sell its products in Texas reflects poorly on our politicians and our lobby driven political system in Texas.
Tesla maintains a showroom in the Galleria in Houston but you cannot buy a vehicle there or even go for a test drive. The other side of the coin is that the Texas legislature has more important considerations than a bill that would simply benefit one company. However, there is little doubt that if you polled Texas families probably 99% or more of them would say that Tesla should be able to sell their vehicles directly to Texas consumers. Who is being hurt here? Tesla motors or the Texas consumer? BOTH!
Electric cars have been slow to the marketplace, however Tesla has led the pack with its upscale and highly rated models. Reports indicate that next year the company will release a new model at a greatly reduced price which should further expand the market. The new model is expected to go 200 miles on a single charge.
The cost per mile for driving an electric vehicle is ridiculously low when compared to a 2012 or 2013 passenger car or pickup truck. In some instances less than 10% the cost. In essence pennies a mile to charge the vehicle.
Eventually, electric vehicles and or natural gas vehicles will be the rule and not the exception. It is unfortunate that the United States is not found more policies to encourage the use of natural gas in vehicles as it would radically reduce our dependence on foreign oil and jumpstart the economy like nothing else we could do.
Other countries have made the jump to natural gas powered vehicles without much problem and enjoy the benefits of reduced emissions not to mention the benefits of using energy produced at home.
When America and Texas can take the money out of politics, policies will be developed which benefit Texans first without regard to special interests.