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February 19, 2015      3:12 PM

Bills filed to allow Tesla to sell vehicles direct from manufacturer

Let the battle begin: "Free market principles are the foundation of our strong Texas economy," Sen. Hancock said.

A coalition of Democratic and Republican lawmakers on Thursday announced they've filed bills, at the behest of Tesla Motors, to allow the direct sales of some new vehicles from manufacturers to consumers and bypass traditional auto dealers.

Reps. Eddie Rodriguez, Charles “Doc” Anderson, Jodie Laubenberg, Tan Parker and Ron Simmons have teamed up with Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, on House Bill 1653 and Senate Bill 639.

Right now, Texas law only allows new car sales from someone who "holds a franchised dealer's license."

These identical bills would add certain manufacturers and distributors and require that "the manufacturer's line-make has never been sold in this state through an independent franchised new motor vehicle dealership." Under the proposal, Tesla could operate 12 of its dealerships in Texas.