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The Model Y is one vehicle to be made at Giga Texas that may not be able to sell directly to Texans. (Tesla, Inc.)

Tesla's newest Gigafactory in Southeast Travis County is slated to produce the Cybertruck and Model Y later this year, but the company may not be able to sell directly to Texas customers as quickly as expected.


One Texas law keeps car manufacturers from directly selling to consumers, meaning the Tesla vehicles made at the forthcoming Gigafactory will have to be delivered from out of state before a Texas buyer can drive it. The law went unaddressed this session and will be in place until at least next legislative session in 2023, unless it's changed during Gov. Greg Abbott's special session.

The law, kept in place by the powerful Texas Automobile Dealers Association, prevents auto manufacturers from selling cars and trucks directly to consumers, without using a dealer. For most Tesla sales, it's something of a technicality because Tesla cars are purchased online on the company's website. But a quirk of the law requires vehicles to be delivered from out of state. Now that Teslas will be building cars in Texas, following the letter of the law absurdly requires Teslas to be shipped out of state and then back to Texas when bought by Texans.

Tesla fans and Elon Musk himself took to Twitter to express their frustration with that particular law.

Some blamed the legislature for failing to adjust the law, while others found it ironic that the electric car company would take root in a state that suffered a massive power grid failure earlier this year during the winter storm.

Tesla Owners of Austin posted about the topic, with replies showing worry that the Texas Legislature wouldn't have time to address the law in the 30-day special session.

But while it may all seem like a mess to order a Tesla, the law doesn't affect Texas consumers receiving the vehicle they ordered.

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