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Lawmakers Consider Bills To Open Texas To Electric Car Maker Tesla

Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk at the Texas State Capitol.
Ryan Poppe | Texas Public Radio

Elon Musk, the owner of Tesla Motors and creator of commercial space exploration company SpaceX, spoke at the capitol urging lawmakers to approve a set of bills that allow his car company to be able to sell their cars in Texas.

During his time at the capitol, the billionaire car maker also met with Gov. Rick Perry about the issue.

"I said to him, 'If we are able to get this bill through the legislature, would you be will to support it?' And he said 'Yeah,'" Musk said.

Musk said that currently in Texas, Tesla is only allowed to operate an educational showroom for potential buyers.

"We are not allowed to discuss the price or give a test drive. We can’t even direct - we tell someone that we have a website on which you can find the price, but we can’t direct them to the website.  We can suggest to someone if they want to buy a car they call someone in California," Musk explained.

The Texas Automobile Dealers Association is the lone group opposing the bill. 

Musk said once approved, the company would set up dealerships in Austin, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio. Both the Senate and House bills addressing the issue remain pending in committee.

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.