Tesla wants Texas auto sales rules eased, hints future investment projects could be at stake

Auto Associated Press

Tesla passed on Texas as the site of its new $5 billion battery factory.

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But the automaker still hopes to sell its electric cars directly to Texans over the Internet, instead of through dealerships, and it is dangling the carrot of future investment projects as an incentive.

Tesla says that, as it continues to grow, it may need more battery factories and car factories, and that they could be built in Texas — but that tweaking state law would help.

The automaker doesn't use outside salesmen or franchised dealers. That practice is prohibited in Texas.

Proposals to allow direct car sales statewide stalled during the 2013 legislative session. But Tesla appears poised to rev up efforts to revive the issue as lawmakers head back to work next month.