Tesla loses battle to sell its products in Texas directly to consumers

Article by Anita Panait, on June 4, 2013

Tesla Motors’ bid to sell its electric vehicles directly to the public in Texas has suffered a major setback after the Legislature failed to vote on bills that provide exemption to existing state law limiting factory-owned dealerships. The bills failed to make it to the floor of the Texas House or Senate for voting as the Legislature's regular session ended Monday, May 27, 2013 and would not convene again in a regular session until 2015.

Tesla is supporting the legislation as it would allow the carmaker to sell its products directly to consumers without intermediation from independent dealers. The Texas Automobile Dealers Association, meanwhile, has opposed the legislation. "The Legislature did the right thing," Karen Phillips, general counsel for the association, remarked. The bills were introduced in March 2013.

Although Tesla operates retail stores in Houston and Austin, its staffers are prohibited from selling any vehicle. Tesla’s failed bid in Texas was in contrast to what occurred in Minnesota.

The carmaker likewise grabbed favorable court rulings in dealer lawsuits in Massachusetts and New York. Tesla, however, failed to get a dealership license in Virginia in April.

Tesla is also fighting legislation in North Carolina that that would prevent the carmaker to sell cars through the Internet. Musk remarked if Tesla continues to suffer from legislative losses on state-level, he might seek action on the national level, either through federal legislation in Congress or a federal lawsuit.

Being the first sedan to be run solely with electricity, the Model S from Tesla is without a doubt an excellent example of how automotive engineering can still be evolved. With a combination of efficiency, safety, and performance, the Model S has managed to change how people view cars of the 21st century. Indeed, not only does the Model S achieve the highest possible ratings when it comes to safety, it also offers the longest range for an electric-powered vehicle.

With software updates made available over-the-air, it continues to make itself even better. One advantage of the Model S over other models is that it makes use of the brand’s architecture wherein the battery is positioned on the floor.

This results in a center of gravity that can be described as extremely low. Because of this, both the performance and the handling are improved while also ensuring that the risk of a rollover happening is lowered. In addition, since it has no engine to speak of, the crumple zone reveals a larger region. This means that when compared to other performance sedans on the market, the Model S is able to absorb more energy in the event of a front end impact.

As mentioned, the Model S has one of the highest safety ratings making it one of the road’s safest cars. The reason for this is mainly the implementation of the Tesla platform wherein the electric drivetrain is placed under the car.

As already mentioned, it results in a low center of gravity and thus minimizes the possibility of a rollover. During a test conducted in the U.S., the Model S was found out to have set the record of having the lowest possibility of injury occurring to the driver and passengers. With a result like this, it won’t be a surprise to know that the Model S has obtained 5-staar safety ratings from both Euro NCAP and the NHTSA.

In addition to the use of the unique architecture, there is also a host of active safety systems fitted as standard. These include lane departure warning, collision warning, blind spot detection, and automatic emergency braking.

All of these simply boost the claim that the Model S is truly the safest car out there. It is not simply about safety as Tesla is offering features aimed at convenience though these are optional. Examples are traffic-aware cruise control, summon, autopark, and autosteer.

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