Tesla Remains Excluded From New Rebate Program In Texas

JUL 3 2018 BY MARK KANE 34

Tesla just can’t catch a break in Texas.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) issued in May a new list of eligible plug-in and hydrogen fuel cell cars for the $2,500 state rebate that returned in 2017. This rebate applies on top of the $7,500 federal tax credit.

Sadly, Texas still combines the incentive for electrification with a requirement to sell or lease the car in the state, which excludes those manufacturers (one to be precise) that sell or lease directly, without a dealer in the state. Texas doesn’t allow the selling of cars directly (like Tesla does) so there is also no way to get the incentive for a Model 3, for example.

The issue with incentives is especially interesting these days. You’d think the U.S. and states governments would try to help manufacturers from the U.S. As you can see, because of the direct sales ban, the government, in fact, prefers to subsidize foreign manufacturers instead of the ones who are a major manufacturer within this country.

List of Eligible Hydrogen Fuel Cell or Other Electric Drive Vehicles (Plug-In or Plug-In Hybrid) for $2,500 rebate in Texas – May 2018

source: Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program (LDPLIP) Eligible Vehicle List

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34 Comments on "Tesla Remains Excluded From New Rebate Program In Texas"

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Maybe Texas should brand itself with a huge “A” for Asshats.


What utopia do you live in where all laws and regulations are completely satisfactory for all?

SparkEV BoltEV

But giving subsidy to foreign companies while singling out US company is borderline treasonous.


What foreign companies?

Mister G



I live in a State other than Texas !

How’s that for utopia?


LOL, well OK then.


“Customs/Trade” barriers within a nation. So they want to make sure that rebate stays within the state?

Fascinating how divided USA is in some instances. This is something which, for me as a Norwegian, is surprising.


50 divided states with different ideals and cultures and people from different backgrounds with a common ideal of unity and prosperity for these lands but some people’s in government and finance want to destroy those ideals and makes fight against each other and the world


The United States is just that, states that are united. The Federal govt. was designed to be weak. It was supposed to handle trade and national defense (mostly naval at the beginning). It also handled disputes between states. It wasn’t until the Civil War, WWI, WWII that the federal govt. got more power.

Understand that we do not hold national elections, we hold 50 state elections. We don’t even vote for the President and Vice President (we hold state elections for those offices and then use the Electoral College to really vote for the office).

Each state still has quite a bit of autonomy when it comes to intra-state laws. The states decide on sales tax, Alcohol sales, marijuana sales (which usually go against the federal rulings), school regulations and many more “local” regulations/laws.

It is similar to the EU in how it works.

So this isn’t a trade or customs issue – it is a state ruling/law that prevents direct sales of a car. Silly but they think it helps the consumer – in reality it just helps out the dealers.


You right on but banning sells of a product that was built cross state lines but not banning others is unconstitutional due interstate commerce clause


To an extent I agree. I think the key is that Texas is not banning the sale of the car, they are banning the method of sale. I’m not a lawyer but I could see how this small difference could be all it takes to make it legal. The closest analogy I can come up with is PAs state store system. I’m not allowed to purchase any alcohol unless it goes through the liquor control board. That includes not being able to purchase alcohol outside the state and bring it into the state myself. Any alcohol manufacturer can sell in the state, but not directly – the LCB has to purchase the alcohol for me and then I can buy it from them.

I use this only to show that states can impose restrictions on items to be sold inside a state. It is up to the residents of the state to change this through elections or for the sellers to change it through the courts.


The difference between alcohol and other products is that it was specifically granted to the states with the repeal of prohibition. AFAIK cars are still legal to own in all 50 states.


As a Texas resident of Norwegian descent, this should be no surprise at all if one considers that these state-level rebates are paid for by the taxes extracted from Texas residents to provide a certain incentive to Texas residents. Why should Texas residents fund rebates for non-state residents? Why should California provide rebates to Texas or Nevada or New York or Florida residents? For that matter, why should the state laws of California, Texas, Nevada, New York or Florida regarding sales channels for liquor (for example) be the same? The federalist system in the U.S. is fundamentally different from the smaller countries in Europe, such as Norway, but somehow you insist that it should be the same. It is not.


The issue is that Texas residents buying Teslas don’t qualify for rebate because Texas won’t allow Tesla to sell direct to consumers in Texas. This is pure bribery by dealerships to prevent Tesla from benefitting like other manufacturers.


Tesla should go the McD way and buy land have prop up dealers on their land and tell them do my way or you are out since they don’t own the land or cars


Yeah, I keep thinking there’s got to be a reasonable yet still legal workaround.


The politically influential Texas Dealer Association is afraid of Tesla… as they rightfully should be.

The irony here is cutting only Tesla out highlights that Tesla is unique… not your typical car delear… I’m convinced that’s a form of Tesla advertising that helps Tesla more than hurts it.


Doesn’t SpaceX have infrastructure in Texas? Why doesn’t Elon apply pressure and tell Texas he will be moving operations or not expanding.


Agree Tesla should deal with Tesla moving out all Tesla assets from there.

David Green

I do not think Texas is worried about Losing Space X and their dozens of employees at the Texas branch. you will need to find a better leverage point


Could California start a trade war from Texas products? They won’t support Tesla an American US company with thousands of Americans a employees, what else besides oils and guns Texas produce?


Toyota moved from California to Texas where it also has a large manufacturing plant so maybe start banning Toyotas in California? Hint: Toyota is the number one selling make in Cali. so GLWT. 🙂

Seven Electrics

Looks like Texas is still against granting local monopolies to manufacturers. They prefer competition in the market to sell and service particular makes and models. There’s no need to break up Tesla if they can’t establish a monopoly in the first place, I suppose, but the key test is whether a monopoly harms the consumer, or not. If it does not, it is legal.


This is like saying Apple has a monopoly on Apple Products. By this logic, pretty much every company is a monopoly. A relatively small car company doesn’t have a monopoly. There is lots of competition for cars, even electric cars. What’s your deal with Tesla? You own one, I believe you said, but still want to hate on them.

David Green

Car dealership lobby is strong…. I totally disagree with Texas on this… its anti business..

Johan M

Sounds fair. Who would buy a car from a manufacturer without a fairly local dealership anyway 😮


Dunno. Being local to one of the few, I just saw more M3 than ever. Maybe 3 dozen about to be delivered, here in the East. I agree it’s odd to think folks from ME, VT, NH and RI will be coming to MA to get a Tesla, but they will. The cars need a lot less mechanical service, and rangers will likely be able to do the other field repairs.

Ron M

Texas has the most Wind Energy generation in the country so a natural fit would be EV. Tesla is the best EV and it’s built in the US but the oil industry hates EV or anything that takes away anything from gasoline sales including ethanol. The dealerships hate Tesla and between the oil and dealerships they control the state legislature, hopefully come November citizens let there representatives know they demand a choice and vote out those that try to prevent them.

David Green

This is really silly for Texas… Auto dealership lobby is too strong…


Comes down to politics (money). They tried to the lobbyist route and that didn’t work. If Tesla wants to move into one of the largest auto markets in the USA, then it needs to grease a lot more wheels; probably means having major operations there. Battery farms for all that wind energy there?


The rebate has no traction, if the maker with the most sales and biggest batteries isn’t included. What’s it for, then?

Texas’ big majority sure love being pushed down. Too bad they let it happen.


Total Bummer.


So, can anyone open a car dealership? What’s the criteria? If I can’t just open car dealership, then that’s protective of the existing car dealerships. If I can open any dealership, then what’s stopping Tesla from opening a dealership owned by them? What if another company opened the dealership and then 1 year later Tesla bought that company? Surely these laws have so many holes in them there is some way to leverage them to get the outcome they want?