June 30, 2022

WRONG TURN: Texas screws over Elon Musk after Tesla leaves California for the state

WRONG TURN: Texas screws over Elon Musk after Tesla leaves California for the state

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Texas has a list of car manufacturers eligible for clean energy rebates with their electric vehicles, but somehow Tesla — which CEO Elon Musk has been loudly proclaiming is a better location for his EV company — than its former California headquarters — isn’t on it. As the electric vehicle maker moves its headquarters from California to Texas, there is still a lot that remains to be seen, including the Lone Star State’s not-so-Southern welcome. Still, Texas Governor Greg Abbott was quick to welcome Musk and Tesla to his state on Twitter – all while presumably knowing that he would soon be stabbing the attention-seeking CEO in the back.

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Unfortunately, we already know how Abbott’s welcomes go. Ask those affected by the failed power grid during last year’s record cold spell. Or the victims of the school shootings in Uvalde. Tesla is no different. They are soon to know firsthand what a welcome and commitment from Abbott truly mean.

Several vehicles qualify under Texas’ Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program: the Volkswagen ID.4, Porsche Taycan, Kia Niro, and Handy EV6. Not listed, however, are any models from Tesla. That’s because Teslas aren’t officially sold or leased in Texas. It’s a big oil state, with big oil money, and an electric-powered vehicle seemingly doesn’t fit into their cozy narrative. Or their wallets.

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But Musk is too narcissistic to get that part. Wooed by Abbott’s insincere welcome, Musk is apparently addicted to social media and the adulation received by being the poster boy of all things performative,  from bucking Covid lockdowns while putting his employees at risk to announcing that workers in China are better than those here in his adopted home. He loves the limelight, the spotlight — whatever light is available — and will do whatever it takes to have it.

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As Texas gives Elon Musk the proverbial middle finger, he’s about to find out what the rest of us have always known: that Texas just doesn’t care, Abbott doesn’t care, Republicans don’t care – and they don’t buy his vehicles.

If Elon Musk thinks that leaving California — a state that embraces the reality of climate change, buys electric vehicles, and puts up with the likes of Musk for the greater good — for Texas — a state that could care less, if at all, and thumbs their noses at a socially conscious brand — is a good idea, then I have a bridge across a non-existent river that I want to sell him.

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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