Tesla-backed bills appear dead in Texas

Tesla appears to have lost its battle to sell cars directly to Texans — for this legislative session, at least.

Two bills supported by the electric car manufacturer, led by PayPal co-founder Elon Musk, failed to get a vote in either the state’s House or Senate and are effectively dead, Bloomberg News reported Friday.


There could conceivably be a special legislative session for the bills, but if there is not, the bills will die when the current session ends on June 1. Legislative sessions in Lone Star State happen once every two years.

The legislation would have allowed Tesla to sell directly to consumers rather than going through dealerships, a central part of its strategy. Car dealers oppose such laws.

“They are thwarting the will of the people,” Tesla executive Diarmuid O’Connell told Bloomberg.

Musk and the company undertook a significant lobbying campaign for the bills, according to Bloomberg, including having Musk stop by the Capitol in Austin.

Tesla has been aggressively trying to get rid of laws mandating dealerships throughout the country and has been successful in some states. 

The company sells the Model S, which starts at $57,000, and the Model X, a larger vehicle that is not yet available to consumers. It has also announced that it plans to start selling a battery that can be used to power a home with energy collected from solar panels, a product that could expand the company’s reach outside of the automotive market.