Tesla Motors CEO asks Texas to let him direct sell


by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and photojournalist SCOTT McKENNEY

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE


Posted on April 10, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 10 at 10:04 PM

AUSTIN -- Pop the hood on a Model S Tesla and you find storage space. As for the trunk, Austin owner Matt Holm has seats for his kids.

"There's no central hump because there is no transmission, there's no drive train. It's essentially a battery pack that is connected to an electric engine," Holm said of his two-week-old car.

The battery is between the front and rear axle. The electric engine is between the rear wheels. Plus, there is a 17-inch monitor in the front that controls most of the functions on the car. It is also a web browser.

"If you start with the base model, you are $59,000. With the federal tax rebate of $7,500, it gets a little more affordable," said Holm.

Holm told KVUE about pricing, because here in Texas, Tesla isn't allowed to talk money or give test rides. Texas law doesn't allow automakers to sell directly to the public.

CEO and co-founder of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk, was in Austin Wednesday urging lawmakers to support a House and Senate bill that would allow Tesla to sell without going through a dealer.

"Just let us sell our cars directly to the people of Texas like we are able to do in the rest of the country," Musk said.

Musk signed the visor on Holm's new car. Holm had to order his car online, without a test drive, since he lives in Austin.

Musk also told KVUE about his idea for a Tesla Supertruck.

"That (the truck) has the performance of a sports car but more carrying capacity and more towing capacity than even the biggest of the gasoline of the pickup trucks," he said.

Here are some links to more on the Texas House and Senate bills, as well as Tesla's car models: