Texas brings back $2,500 EV incentive, but excludes Tesla

The program runs through franchise dealers.

  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
The good news is that the Lone Star State has brought back its state-funded financial perk for electric-vehicle buyers. The bad news is that it looks like Tesla is once again being left out of the proverbial hoedown. But green car advocates can take their victories where they can get them.

The Texas Emissions Reduction Program has been restored for 2018 and 2019, according to Green Car Reports. That program, which provides a rebate worth $2,500 to buyers of EVs, was enacted in 2013, but it was discontinued two years later. Once restored, that rebate can be coupled with the federal government's $7,500 perk to reduce the effective price of an EV in Texas by as much as $10,000.

It's similar to California's rebate, but with an important difference: the Texas program is operated solely through its franchised auto dealers. And while Texas is home to 10 Tesla galleries — only California and Florida have more among US states — Tesla can't actually sell any vehicles through those galleries because the state is home to one of the country's most powerful auto-dealer lobbyist contingent. That translates into Texas being one of the few remaining holdouts, which also include Michigan and Utah, that refuse to allow automakers to sell directly to consumers. No dealer sale, no rebate from the state.

For Tesla, which is about to debut its lower-priced Model 3 electric sedan, that means that buyers may purchase their vehicles online, but they are required to have their vehicles delivered to them outside of the state lines. It also means they're left out when it comes to the reinstated perk.

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