If you’re looking to buy an electric vehicle in Texas, things just got a little easier. The state recently announced a list of 142 light-duty EVs that will now be eligible for a $2,500 rebate. There is, however, one glaring omission: Not a single Tesla is included on that list, despite the company establishing Austin as its new home base.
Well, it comes down to Tesla’s direct-to-consumer sales model and its lack of dealerships, The Center Square reports — something that’s been a sticking point for Tesla since it was founded.
Basically, the rebate requires that a buyer purchase EVs from a licensed new vehicle dealership or leasing company in Texas. Tesla doesn’t sell its vehicles out of a dealership, so Tesla vehicles don’t qualify.
Here’s a little reasoning behind that rule, from The Center Square:
“Texas franchised dealer laws protect competition and provide the most efficient and effective delivery model for new and used car sales in Texas,” said Jennifer Stevens, a spokesperson for the Texas Automobile Dealers Association. “The current system works well for Texas and Texans.”
If you’re reading Stevens’ quote and thinking that these laws might make other aspects of selling difficult for Tesla, you’d be right. As first reported by The Drive in 2021, Texas legislature failed to pass a law that would allow the easy sale of Texas-built Teslas to Texans. Instead, potential buyers will have to jump through complex hoops. Basically, if you live in Texas and want to buy a Texas-built Tesla, you’ll have to wait for that car to be shipped out of state before it can be sold back to you. Oh — and you can’t have that car delivered to you in Texas, either. It’s likely going to stay that way until Texas legislature meets again in 2023.
Here’s more of what that looks like, from The Drive:
Any Texan can go online and order a Tesla through the company’s website. But no orders may be placed or processed within any Texas facility owned by Tesla. One buyer noted his paperwork had been FedExed to and from a Tesla Store in Nevada for completion.
Once ordered, the vehicle is shipped to one of Tesla’s eight Texas service centers. The buyer must first pay for it online (from outside the facility grounds), and can then drive it away—meaning Tesla has not actually “delivered” the car to a buyer, but simply made it available to be “picked up” by an existing owner.
Texas is quite happy to register it and collect sales tax on the purchase, of course.
If you’re looking for just about any other EV, though, you’ll be able to get that coveted $2,500 tax rebate, even for automakers that are nearing the end of their federal tax credit qualifications. And yes — even two Bentleys qualify for that rebate. You just can’t get a Tesla.