For the most part, I really love living in Austin. Like most university towns it is quirky and odd, and has the added spice that comes with being a state capital (for a state that, population-wise, is the second-biggest in the country). There’s an abundance of things to do, incredible live music, South by Southwest activities in the Spring and Austin City Limits in the fall. And it’s lovely; a green oasis in the middle of a lot of brown. But it is in Texas, and that means we catch a lot of flack for some of the dumber things that Texas does. (And of course our arrogance about being Texans doesn’t help sometimes. ) Our politics are a good example, with the state textbook folks trying to force politically motivated information into our kids’ school books. But then on the flip side, when it comes to electric vehicles, Austin is actually leading the country (take a look at the Mueller Community, for example, with solar panels on all the roofs, high-speed charging units in all the garages, and other stuff that I’ll write about for y’all real soon.).
Now Elon Musk, founder of EV makers Tesla Motors (among other things; take a look at the Gear Diary post on his SCSWi keynote address), is wanting to get more EVs into place here in Texas. Specifically, he came to my little town (again!) to advocate for the passage of House Bill 3351/Senate Bill 1659, which would allow Tesla to sell their cars directly to the public, since they have no franchised dealerships in the state. Musk came to town to lobby for this bill, arguing that passing it would let Tesla sells their products in a more unfettered way, and allow them to invest in metro areas. Bring in some money, in other words.
In my opinion, it’s a good thing; more competition is good, and more competition in green tech is especially good. Here’s hoping the famously boneheaded Texas lege does the right thing.
So what do you think? Musk being too pushy, Texas being too stubborn, or something in between? Whatever you think, be sure to let us know about it below!