Tesla has "galleries" in Austin, Dallas, and Houston, as well as four maintenance centers so that the 3,000-plus Texans that drive the electric vehicles can get them fixed. Even so, Tesla residents can't buy an electric vehicle at a gallery, and they have to make an appointment for a test drive. Inconveniently, those drives can only take place on Thursdays, Fridays, or Saturdays. Also inconveniently, Texans can only buy a Tesla online and need to change the vehicle's registration to Texas from California.
"We spoke to thousands of delegates who were surprised that the Texas Legislature is standing in the way of free markets and open competition in our state," said Tesla spokesman David White, in a statement to AutoblogGreen. "However, people across Texas are starting to weigh in on the issue of direct sales in a big way, and their support has been overwhelming."
Texas has long been a holdout when it comes to maintaining that all vehicles must be sold through third-party dealerships. Texas is the second-largest car market in the US after California, and Tesla has been lobbying for direct-to-customer sales there for at least three years. Last spring, Texas lawmakers rejected Tesla's efforts, even after the automaker spent more than $150,000 on lobbying efforts during the fourth quarter of 2014.