Published on May 18th, 2020 | by Johnna Crider0
Addressing “Texas Banned Tesla & Is Against Green Energy” Claims
May 18th, 2020 by Johnna Crider
There’s a well known refrain that Tesla is banned in Texas. That’s somewhat true, but not completely. For example, you can buy a Tesla online and pick it up at a delivery center — many Tesla owners have done this, including one of CleanTechnica’s writers. So, it’s not completely banned.
I lived in Texas once — long before I knew anything about Tesla or EVs in general — and visited the Tesla showroom at Northpark Mall in Dallas. I remember thinking it was strange to have a car showroom in a mall. At the time, cars, in general, didn’t really interest me. I don’t know how to drive and grew up most of my life without the use of one. My last memory of my own mother’s car was us rushing to get out just before it exploded. If you’d have told me five years ago that I’d be writing about cars and clean energy for a living, I probably would have thought you’d lost your mind. I digress.
Earlier this month, I posted the following tweet and had several Tesla owners educate me. Keep in mind that I am human and sometimes the word I am trying to express eludes me. In the tweet, the phrase I used was “direct sales.” I should have said, “Tesla should remove the ban they have against allowing Tesla shoppers to buy directly from the manufacturer … in a Tesla store.”
My tweet received a few replies, some written in anger that I was spreading misinformation. If I was, I didn’t mean to, and I’m hoping to right that wrong by addressing this misconception here. Perhaps this will also benefit those in Texas who are considering buying a Tesla. Rumors often block people from doing things they want to do. Let’s cut through the rumors and find out the kernel of truth this idea originated from.
Hey TEXAS if you really want @elonmusk to move Tesla's HQ there, consider removing that ban you guys have against buying Teslas.
Hey Louisiana, take notes.
— Johnnæ (@johnnaaaaaaaaaa) May 10, 2020
So, how wrong was I? Mojo Susan, a Tesla owner in Texas, shared her thoughts with me and explained how this idea originated. “I think it’s important to tell people that you can buy and service Teslas in Texas. What people have twisted is the fact that in Texas, and many other states, you can not buy a Tesla from a store. We don’t have stores, instead, we have showrooms. This, I think, is from the car franchise and big oil lobbies. I think that lobbyists give more money to politicians to prevent ‘direct’ Tesla sales.”
Many states have bans against direct sales of Teslas, but Texas is one of the most well known for it. Perhaps this is related to the fact that Texas is an oil state, or just that it’s really big. (Louisiana is also an oil state, incidentally.) According to Investopedia, the United States is the top oil-producing country in the world. We account for 18% of the world’s oil production. Texas is one of the top producing states.
After you’ve made the order, all paperwork is done remotely via Fedex/Docusign from Fremont
— Imran Hasan (@CuriousHasan) May 10, 2020
Yes. You can test drive a Tesla at the Tesla Stores and Galleries. Here is a map showing their locations in the US. https://t.co/j5cMV5K2Zk
— Jim Lilly (@JimLilly6) May 10, 2020
Susan has her own pitch as to why Texas is an amazing place for Tesla to set up a gigafactory, or terafactory. “Here’s why Tesla in our state is amazing. We are an oil state. What better way to transfer from fossil fuels than to come to Texas?! It’s brilliant. I think, too, that people forget that there are many people who depend on the oil industry for most of their livelihoods. They are worried about today, not the future of our earth. A program training oil workers to install solar roofs & work at the Gigafactory solves that.”
She also points out that many Twitter users were against Tesla being in Texas due to its bad green record. I think, in order for a state to “be green,” it needs to have that green brought there. How can you expect someone to go green if they don’t experience it for themselves? Speaking of clean energy, Susan shared this tweet:
Texas is 4 in solar in the US! pic.twitter.com/fzxemxoKVo
— Mojo Susan (@mojosusan) May 14, 2020
A recent article by the Financial Times, “Texas: how the home of US oil and gas fell in love with solar power,” echoed Susan’s thoughts by saying that a boom in solar projects is happening all across Texas and these projects are a threat to fossil fuels.
CleanTechnica has written about the clean energy revolution in Texas many times. Texas leads the nation in wind power capacity, and also led the nation in new capacity added last year. By the end of 2018, Texas had 25 gigawatts (GW) of wind power capacity installed, making it the #1 state in the country for that and, if it was a country, it would have been #5 in the world. That meant 25,000 jobs and $46 billion in total capital investment, resulting in $307 million in landowner payments in a year. It was also already a leader in solar power capacity, and is currently 4th in the country in terms of installed solar power capacity. In mid-2015, the state landed the lowest solar power project bid in the world. It also led in rooftop solar prices (per watt).
All in all, Texas power capacity was 30% carbon free by the end of 2018, 23.4% of power capacity coming from wind power. Since then, the state has gone even more rapidly toward renewable energy. Texas now has 4,324 MW of solar power installed, and 29,407 MW of wind power installed, which accounts for 17.5% of the state’s electricity production.
With Tesla and abundant clean energy in Texas, I believe that we can remove the black stains of oil and see the green underneath. Hopefully, Louisiana can take notes.