Former XFL football player Rod Smart gained brief pop-cultural fame a few years back by putting the name "He Hate Me" on the back of his jersey. It's a sentiment Tesla Motors chief Elon Musk might be feeling about Texas and the long arm of its pro-dealership law after the Lone Star State laid out provisions for its planned rebates for buyers of electric and natural-gas vehicles.
Last week, Texas legislators approved the rebates, which can total up to $2,500 from the state and $10,000 when included with federal-government incentives, but managed to exclude the Tesla Model S from the list of electric cars eligible for a rebate, according to Fuel Fix. The issue is that only cars sold through Texas dealerships apply. As we all know, Tesla doesn't play that game.
As we all know, Tesla doesn't play that game.
Texas will disclose more details about the rebate program next spring, though for now, it's set aside about $3.8 million in funds, which would support about 1,550 plug-in and natural-gas vehicle purchases a year. The program doesn't yet have a start date but it will run through August of 2015.
That dealership issue continues to be a sticking point for Tesla, which doesn't have any dealerships since it sells vehicles directly to the buyer. Texas has what's regarded as the strictest laws when it comes to prohibiting automakers from owning their own shops and selling directly to the public. Last month, Green Car Reports outlined how many hoops Texas residents have to jump through in order to purchase or even service a Tesla Model S. It's a lot.
Still, Texas does support EVs, in its own way. The Long Star state has long had the second-highest number of publicly available charging stations in the country (after California). As of earlier this month, Texas was home to 508 such stations, compared to 1,480 in California, according to the US Department of Energy.