Texas reimburses Tesla – excludes it from electric vehicle rebates
Along with other issues, the location of Tesla’s new global headquarters in Texas has always been odd, as Texas has always had anti-Tesla laws in place that prevent in-store sales from being easy and convenient for Tesla shoppers. . Sure, you can shop online and have a Tesla shipped to Texas, but you can’t walk into a Tesla store, test drive a car, and buy one there. Now, however, as an indirect “thank you” to Tesla building its giant new headquarters in Texas, the state is excluding the young automaker from its electric vehicle rebate program.
The Texas Light-Duty Automotive Purchase or Lease Incentive Program “provides statewide rebates to individuals who purchase or lease a new qualifying light-duty automotive vehicle powered by compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or hydrogen fuel cell or other electric drive (plug-in or plug-in hybrid). That sounds good ! But there’s a twist in eligibility that’s just enough to rule out new star automaker Tesla. (Elon doesn’t care, does he?)
You do not believe me ? You can access the list of eligible vehicles yourself and find that no Tesla vehicles are listed. You can get a discount if you buy or lease a Volkswagen ID.4, Volkswagen e-Golf, Porsche Taycan, Nissan LEAF, Kia Niro EV, Hyundai Kona EV, Hyundai EV6, Jaguar I-PACE, Ford Mustang Mach-E, other pure electric vehicles, a plug-in hybrid, and even several non-electric cars, like the Dodge Ram 2500 (don’t ask). However, you cannot buy a Tesla and get such a discount.
If you skim through the eligibility requirements, you won’t immediately understand why Tesla vehicles aren’t included. There is no “You will not be a Tesla” clause and there is no exclusion for vehicles that include beach buggies in the infotainment system. No, but there is this line: “Only vehicles offered for sale or lease in Texas are eligible for this rebate.” Sure, plenty of Texans buy Teslas, and we even have one of those buyers on our writing staff (hi, Vijay), but Tesla vehicles aren’t technically for sale or lease in Texas, because no dealer Automobile in Texas only sells new Teslas – and it’s the only way to be legally allowed to buy a car in the state.
I know, I know, you’re shocked – shocked — than in the Lone Star State, the land of freeyou are not free to buy the most popular electric car on the planet and get a discount on it. How could such a “free” state make such a mistake? But, alas, all may not be what it seems on the surface of political propaganda.
Seriously, Texas is not a freedom-loving state. It’s a corrupt state where Big Money creates laws that allow Big Money to make more money. Car dealerships and rather wealthy auto dealer associations don’t want the pesky little Tesla disrupting their market. Neither do the oil companies, for that matter. Republican politicians in Texas get away with all sorts of crimes and anti-freedom, anti-democracy policies because, frankly, they can. They scratch their buddies’ backs, their buddies donate to their re-election campaigns, and voters don’t notice because they’re too busy glued to Fake News, Parler (the social media app for insurgents and anti coup-friendly Americans), and stupid Twitter.
Will Tesla enthusiasts ever walk into a Tesla store and buy a car and then get the same EV discount that other electric car buyers and even CNG vehicle buyers get in the bank? Who knows? Texas is a strange place, and Elon Musk seems far too naïve and politically uninformed to fool the auto dealer associations or the oil giants. Heck, he didn’t even ask Texas to allow Tesla sales in the state before committing to building the world’s largest Tesla factory within its borders. Also, while they may be avoiding income tax, Tesla employees and perhaps the company itself will one day find that property taxes more than offset any savings they make there.
To think that Republican politicians in Texas just want people to be free to do whatever they want is about as insightful as to think that Homer Simpson just wants more free time so he can spend those extra hours at the library at learn about the nuances and mysteries of the world.
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