Elon Musk Says Tesla May Build Second Plant in Texas
April 11, 2013 11:01 PM
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This likely has a lot to do with the potential passing of a new EV bill in the state
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is currently fighting for
an electric vehicle (EV) bill
to pass in Texas, and to sweeten the pot, he has mentioned building a second plant in the Lone Star state.
"When we do establish a manufacturing plant outside of California, Texas would be a leading candidate for that," said Musk.
Musk is even trying to appeal to Texan consumers by discussing a design for an electric pickup truck that would be stronger than any current gasoline truck.
"I have this idea for a really advanced electric truck that has the performance of a sports car but actually more towing power and more carrying capacity than a gasoline or diesel truck of comparable size," said Musk. "That could be really cool, and I think that would probably make sense to do that at a new plant."
Musk is likely showing off what Tesla can do for Texas in terms of car sales because of a recent bill -- which Musk referred to as a "life or death" situation for the automaker.
The proposed bill is
House Bill 3351
, which would allow distributors and manufacturers of electric vehicles (EVs) only to sell directly to customers without the use of dealerships. The bill was filed by Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin).
With the passing of the bill, Musk said he would hope to sell about 1,500-2,000 EVs in Texas alone for 2014. Tesla typically sells about 10,000 in North America total.
"If we were allowed to go direct, I think we would make Texas on par with California in terms of emphasis," said Musk.
Tesla is in a particularly good spot right now, and is looking to expand as quickly as possible to keep that momentum up. Last month, Musk announced that Tesla was shipping over 500 Model S EVs weekly. Not long after that, reported that
the company is now profitable
thanks to the Model S exceeding sales targets. Tesla Model S sales reached 4,750, which topped the sales outlook of 4,500 posted in the February shareholder letter.
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4/17/2013 12:09:14 PM
Car dealerships have a strangehold on selling new cars in America. Their lobby is so powerful that they have created exculsivity contracts in nearly every state that restrict manufacturers from opening new dealerships (like online dealerships), and require all new car sales to be through a dealership. The dealerships have so much political clout because they generate a ton a sales tax revenue for states and they employ a lot of people.
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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