Texas Gov. Rick Perry Would Take Another Look at Anti-Direct Sales Rules for Tesla's $5B Gigafactory
March 24, 2014 6:59 PM
Gov. Rick Perry
He said the pros of allowing this would outweigh the cons
Not long ago, Texas told Tesla Motors to take a hike when the automaker wanted to sell its electric vehicles (EV) directly to customers without the use of auto dealers. But it seems that the Lone Star state is
changing its tune
now that Tesla's giant Gigafactory is on the line.
, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) indicated that Texas needs to take a second look at its state rules -- which he referred to as "antiquated" -- that prevent Tesla from selling its EVs directly to customers.
"Tesla’s a big project,” said Perry. “The cachet of being able to say we put that manufacturing facility in your state is hard to pass up.
“I think it’s time for Texans to have an open conversation about this, the pros and the cons. I’m gonna think the pros of allowing this to happen outweigh the cons.”
, which the automaker plans to build in a Southwest state in the U.S. The factory aims to supply batteries for up to 500,000 EVs by the year 2020. The gigafactory would cost $5 billion USD, span as much as 1,000 acres, and employ about 6,500 people. It would also largely be powered by renewable energy.
Four states -- Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada -- are pushing to become the site for the Gigafactory. Whichever state Tesla chooses will see great economic benefits from the large-scale plant; hence Texas' new view on direct sales.
The state realizes that Tesla likely won't choose it if Texas doesn’t allow the automaker to sell its vehicles without the help of auto dealers.
It's possible that Tesla CEO Elon Musk is using the Gigafactory as leverage to get the direct sales laws changed in certain U.S. states, and it looks to be working as Arizona recently passed a bill to allow Tesla to do just that.
Texas Rep. Jason Villalba (R, Dallas) recently wrote Musk a letter in an attempt to patch things up with the automaker. He said he's a proponent of the Tesla-backed House Bill 3351, and that Texas is the perfect state for the Gigafactory due to its warm climate (for the solar-ran factory) and large labor pool to fill factory positions.
Earlier this month, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration
proposed a new rule
that requires a person to have a franchise agreement with an auto manufacturer in order to be granted a license to sell. Tesla already had two stores in the state at the time.
Shortly after, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission voted in favor of the ban of direct auto sales. This means that the two stores must be turned into showrooms and nothing more after April 1, 2014.
New Jersey is now the third state to ban Tesla's direct sales model.
"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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