Tesla-backed bills in Texas fail to make it to vote

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 04, 2013 1:48 PM

DETROIT (Reuters) - A pair of bills that would have allowed electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc to sell vehicles directly to consumers in Texas failed to make it to a vote in the state legislature before its regular session ended on Monday.

The Texas legislature's regular general session resumes in January 2015.

Texas, like most U.S. states, does not allow manufacturers to sell new cars directly to consumers.

Chief Executive Elon Musk has said that traditional car dealers cannot effectively sell electric cars because they derive most of their revenue from selling and servicing gas-powered cars.

"It is impossible for them to explain the advantages of going electric without simultaneously undermining their traditional business," Musk said in a blog post in October. "This would leave the electric car without a fair opportunity to make its case to an unfamiliar public."

The bills faced stiff opposition from the Texas Automobile Dealers Association when they were introduced in March.

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One bill, introduced in the House by Democratic Representative Eddie Rodriguez, proposed that electric car makers be allowed to own their own dealerships in Texas. A companion bill was introduced in the Senate by Republican Senator Craig Estes.

Tesla declined to comment. The automaker holds its annual meeting later Tuesday.

(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Carol Bishopric)