Texas $2,500 EV Rebate - hearing on Dec. 11, 2017

Dr. J

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The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is writing rules to implement the Legislature’s clean vehicle rebate program, which provides rebates of $2,500 for EV purchases. Last time (2014), Tesla cars did not qualify because sales were restricted to Texas auto dealers. There is nothing in the current law requiring the vehicle to be sold by Texas dealers—only that the first title for the vehicle be issued in Texas. Even though Tesla does not have dealerships in Texas, the Commission seems to be sympathetic to including the purchase of a Tesla in the program. But it will happen only if we push hard to show them we support it!

The links for the hearing and comments pages are:

Notice of public hearing on Dec. 11, 2017 at 2 PM
A large presence will be helpful to the cause.

eComments Form for Proposed Rulemaking
The deadline for comments is Dec. 22, 2017. Under “Your Comments,” a selection box appears for “For which rulemaking would you like to provide comments?” Select the option for “Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program.”

TCEQ provides some tips for effective comments:
  • Identify who you are and why the regulation affects you;
  • Explain why you agree or disagree with the proposed rulemaking;
  • Be direct in your comment; and
  • Offer alternatives, compromise solutions, and specific language for your suggested changes.

Background:

SB 1731: Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program
The rulemaking would propose revisions to the standards and criteria for the Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program in order to implement legislation that re-establishes the program. The revisions would include maximum incentive amounts of $5,000 for natural gas and propane vehicles and $2,500 for electric vehicles, with a limit per fiscal biennium of 1,000 incentives for natural gas and propane vehicles and 2,000 incentives for electric vehicles. The revisions would also allow vehicles converted to operate on natural gas or propane within 500 miles of first sale of the vehicle to be eligible for an incentive.

Timing/Process:

Comments are due by Dec. 22, 2017. The Commission will make a decision in the spring. From TCEQ: “We anticipate opening the program in the spring of 2018. Once the program is open, the eligibility criteria, a list of eligible vehicles, application forms and instructions will be posted to our website.”

Argument:

Since Tesla buyers pay the same sales and vehicle registration taxes as vehicle purchases as other buyers, we should have the opportunity to apply for the rebate.

Sample Comment:

I am commenting on proposed regulations on the Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program because [talk about your motivation—plan to buy a Tesla, interested in air quality, believe in a level playing field with other manufacturers, etc.]. SB 1731 directs the Commission to develop rules implementing a buyer rebate program to encourage the purchase of clean light duty vehicles. [Wax eloquent—but be concise!—about Tesla, if you wish] Tesla vehicles contribute just as much to improved air quality as other EVs, and Tesla buyers pay the same taxes to the state of Texas as any other new vehicle purchaser. I encourage the Commission to include Tesla on the approved list of vehicle manufacturers for the rebate program and not restrict the rebate to sales by Texas dealers.
 

LUXMAN

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I hope all in Texas will so this! I did a couple days ago. Please take 5 minutes to make your voices heard.
@Dr. J has a great template to use! His is much better than mine was, but I have pasted it below.

Also, see the Thread I started https://teslaownersonline.com/threads/texas-share-of-diesal-gate-money.5400/ to help Texas spend its share of the VW settlement wisely

Dear Sir or Ma'am,
I am writing you today to voice my concerns and preferences regarding the Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program.
As a Texan that is interested in helping our state become a cleaner place to for us all, I urge you to implement this program without amendments so that all vehicles that fulfill the requirements are eligible for the program.
In the proposal, it is noted that "Staff is aware that some light-duty electric vehicles are sold directly by the manufacturer rather than a dealer in Texas, and stakeholders have differing views regarding the eligibility of these vehicles."
These "stakeholders" that want to limit the rebate are obviously the TADA (Texas Automobile Dealers Association) and are targeting one manufacturer and that is Tesla. While they may be big campaign donors, the people of Texas are the ones that pay the most taxes and elect the officials. To attempt to limit my choice in such an arbitrary and capricious manner, is frankly Un-American and worse, Un-Texan.
In closing, I urge you not to restrict the vehicles eligible for a rebate based on one groups desires but to implement them for all Texans to have a choice. One last point that I would like to make is that if I purchase a TESLA vehicle, I also pay state sales tax, so excluding me from this provision is tantamount to discrimination.
Thank you for your time. Please feel free to contact me to discuss this matter
 
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Done! Hoping other Texans see this thread over the next few days and also get involved.

Can someone please keep us updated on the progress of this on this thread? Thanks so much!
 

Dr. J

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Done! Hoping other Texans see this thread over the next few days and also get involved.

Can someone please keep us updated on the progress of this on this thread? Thanks so much!
**The deadline for comments is this Friday, Dec. 22, 2017, at 5:00 PM.**

eComments Form for Proposed Rulemaking

"For which rulemaking would you like to provide comments?"
Select:
Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program

Several people--more than a couple dozen--commented at the public hearing in favor of including Tesla in the program. Two people, both lobbyists with Big Autodealer :), favored the proposed language excluding Tesla.

My interpretation of the Commission's interpretation of SB 1731 was a bit off. Apparently they're hanging their hat on a literal reading of Sec. 386.155(a), Manufacturer's Report, specifically, "...a manufacturer of motor vehicles...shall provide to the commission a list of the new vehicle...models that the manufacturer intends to sell in this state during that model year that meets the incentive requirements established under Section 386.154." [emphasis added] That's their hangup.

My response to that: Sec. 386.155(b), "The commission may supplement the information provided under Subsection (a) with additional information on available vehicle models, including information provided by manufacturers or installers of systems to convert new motor vehicles to operate on natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas...."
[emphasis added] provides the commission with authority to add other qualifying vehicles such as those made by Tesla. It's a minority viewpoint. ;) But it's true to a literal reading. Note that the qualifier following the comma, "including information..." is not restrictive--that is, it "includes" but is not "limited to" gas/LP conversions.

I will supply that comment before the deadline.
 

Dr. J

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In case TCEQ needed a textual analysis of SB 1731 and their proposed regulation ;), I submitted the following comment:

....

It is clear that motor vehicles made by Tesla, Inc. qualify in every fundamental respect for the light-duty motor vehicle purchase or lease incentive program. The only opposition to including Tesla motor vehicles in the program that was expressed at the hearing was from automobile dealers and their allies. Because S.B. 1731 is clearly written to qualify a purchaser “who agrees to register and operate the vehicle in this state for a minimum period time,” and because the definition of “retail sales” of motor vehicles from the Texas Occupations Code is not geographically limited, the commission must rely on a literal reading of the phrase “in this state” in the Manufacturer’s Report, Section 386.155(a) to disqualify Tesla purchasers.

Otherwise qualifying purchases not “in this state” must still be registered in the state of Texas and pay equivalent sales or use tax as purchases “in this state.” In addition, all such purchases equally contribute to air quality benefits for the state of Texas, which after all is the purpose of the rebate program. Thus a literal reading of Sec. 386.155(a) is contrary to the purpose of the incentive and the apparent intent of the Legislature in creating this clean air incentive.

Even the definition of “retail sales” of motor vehicles from the Texas Occupations Code is not geographically limited to “in this state.” Certainly if the Legislature had intended to disqualify Tesla sales, a geographically limited version of “retail sales” could have been adopted, or else the language qualifying actual purchases could have specified sales in the state or sales from Texas automobile dealers. This is not the case, so we must look more closely at Section 386.155 and determine if the proposed regulation is faithful to, at least, a literal reading of it.

The proposed regulation adopts the language “sell in this state” in two places, one of which, Section 114.613(c), is clearly not justified by a literal reading of the statute. To see why, review S.B. 1731, Section 386.155(b):

"The commission may supplement the information provided under Subsection (a) with additional information on available vehicle models, including information provided by manufacturers or installers of systems to convert new motor vehicles to operate on natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas...."

This subsection clearly provides the commission with authority to add other qualifying vehicles such as those made by Tesla. The qualifier following the comma, "including information..." is not restrictive--that is, it "includes" but is not "limited to" natural gas/LP conversions. And nowhere is the “additional information” on vehicles sales qualified geographically.

The proposed regulation, Section 114.613(c), errs in using the phrase “in this state” to apply to supplementary information on qualifying vehicle models submitted by manufacturers. While this phrase applies to the original list of qualifying vehicles authorized in Section 386.155(a), it does not appear in the separate Section 386.155(b). Therefore, the Commission may contemplate any supplementary information, including on qualifying vehicles first registered in Texas. Section 114.613(c) should be corrected to exclude the phrase “in this state,” and the Commission should adopt language allowing inclusion of other qualifying motor vehicles for the rebate program.
 

Dr. J

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Done! Hoping other Texans see this thread over the next few days and also get involved.

Can someone please keep us updated on the progress of this on this thread? Thanks so much!
There will be at least three months of total silence from the State. The final regulation will be published no earlier than April 2 (I think I heard), and possibly later. When it happens, I'm sure someone will provide a heads up. Also, it's not known what the effective date will be--could be when the reg is issued, could be earlier, could be later.
 

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There will be at least three months of total silence from the State. The final regulation will be published no earlier than April 2 (I think I heard), and possibly later. When it happens, I'm sure someone will provide a heads up. Also, it's not known what the effective date will be--could be when the reg is issued, could be earlier, could be later.
I have a feeling it will be the date that it is issued. I am hoping for my 3 by February, so I may be outta luck, but we gotta get this in place, if not just to beat the Auto dealers!
 

Dr. J

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Any new updates regarding the rebate?
Not to my knowledge. From the TCEQ website, https://www.tceq.texas.gov/airquality/terp:

Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program (LDPLI)

The Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program (LDPLI) will provide rebate incentives statewide to persons who purchase or lease an eligible new light-duty motor vehicle powered by compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or hydrogen fuel cells or other electric drives (plug-in or plug-in hybrid). Only vehicles purchased in Texas are eligible for the incentive.
Applications may not be submitted for funding consideration at this time. We anticipate the grant round opening in Spring 2018. Please check back for updated LDPLI program information.
 
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Not to my knowledge. From the TCEQ website, https://www.tceq.texas.gov/airquality/terp:

Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program (LDPLI)

The Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program (LDPLI) will provide rebate incentives statewide to persons who purchase or lease an eligible new light-duty motor vehicle powered by compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or hydrogen fuel cells or other electric drives (plug-in or plug-in hybrid). Only vehicles purchased in Texas are eligible for the incentive.
Applications may not be submitted for funding consideration at this time. We anticipate the grant round opening in Spring 2018. Please check back for updated LDPLI program information.
Not to my knowledge. From the TCEQ website, https://www.tceq.texas.gov/airquality/terp:

Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program (LDPLI)

The Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program (LDPLI) will provide rebate incentives statewide to persons who purchase or lease an eligible new light-duty motor vehicle powered by compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or hydrogen fuel cells or other electric drives (plug-in or plug-in hybrid). Only vehicles purchased in Texas are eligible for the incentive.
Applications may not be submitted for funding consideration at this time. We anticipate the grant round opening in Spring 2018. Please check back for updated LDPLI program information.
Thank you!
 

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#12
I have a feeling it will be the date that it is issued. I am hoping for my 3 by February, so I may be outta luck, but we gotta get this in place, if not just to beat the Auto dealers!
My estimated delivery is Jan - Mar, so I am thinking I'll get it sometime in April. Maybe I'll qualify for the rebate...hopefully.
 

LUXMAN

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I wonder if it needs to be purchased after the start date of the rebate. I read the whole rebate proposal and still don’t know. But my guess is you would have to buy after the start date of the rebate.
When I called the TCEQ in the fall, she said they were targeting April 1st for the next program to start.

But I had a sit down meeting with my state representative this past weekend. I brought up my Tesla hopes for the rebate. That Tesla be included even tho the dealers were lobbying hard against it. He hoped they would “do the right thing” but that the legislature is out until 2019. So if they did that, he would try to correct it then but wouldnt be able to help until then. If the commissioner were to do as the dealers asked, there really wouldn’t be any recourse (lawsuit I guess but that would be $$$).

I aslo brought up the VW settlement monies. He again said he hoped that they would use that funds as intended but if the language was not strong enough to guard against it, it could end up in the General fund vs being used for the charging infrastructure. :mad:

I also mentioned just Tesla being able to sell in Texas (something they really already do, just with restrictions).
He worked on that in 2015 and it was even part of the Republican platform, but it got killed cuz of the dealer lobby he said.
He also said “well we need to give the dealers time to adjust their business model due to their debt, then threw out “like 10 years”. Unbelievable. But the way he sees it, you can’t change the rules on them after they are invested and indebted without warning. Not sure I totally agree as that is basically protectionist vs free market.
But anyway. That is what I got for now.
Hopefully we will hear the decision soon on the rebate program.
 

Quicksilver

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Thanks LUXMAN for speaking with the State Rep. I recalled reading about how Tesla wouldn't qualify because of the dealers and was disappointed. I was hoping TCEQ would somehow come through with letting Tesla cars qualify for the rebate. I live in a very conservative county and home of Huffines who represent the area, so it would be pointless to speak with them. Huffines owns many dealerships in the area.
 

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Speaking of Texas dealerships...here is an interesting article...
Nice! All the politicians are the same. Dirty. Its all about the $. That is what you get when you allow someone to work private enterprise and state government in the same line of business.
Funny. The state rep I was talking to is a "businessman and entrepreneur". And he was espousing the greatness that is the Citizen Legislature and how he only gets $600 for his time in the Senate. Seems to me he is getting allot more than that by helping to craft the laws.

I use to have to deal with a Huffines Dealership in Lewisville. Always a problem.
 

chojn1

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Not to my knowledge. From the TCEQ website, https://www.tceq.texas.gov/airquality/terp:

Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program (LDPLI)

The Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program (LDPLI) will provide rebate incentives statewide to persons who purchase or lease an eligible new light-duty motor vehicle powered by compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or hydrogen fuel cells or other electric drives (plug-in or plug-in hybrid). Only vehicles purchased in Texas are eligible for the incentive.
Applications may not be submitted for funding consideration at this time. We anticipate the grant round opening in Spring 2018. Please check back for updated LDPLI program information.
"Only vehicles purchased in Texas are eligible for the incentive."

There is a reason that clause is there.

No Tesla are sold in Texas.

The good old boys in Austin has got the Texas Dealer Assoc. in their back pocket.
I don't have a problem with the Dealer Assoc. doing their own business, I have a problem with them forcing their will on everyone else to protect their monopoly and pocketbook.

I couldn't care less about their incentives. This is just blatant abuse of power.

I am trying to think if there is anything we can do about it. What do guys think about restarting another statewide poll regarding Texans' freedom to buy cars like everything else from anyone they chose. There is enough dissatisfactions with the dealers to get a decent reponse. If we can get enough numbers, that might be a bigger message. Writing and calling them all day doesn't seem to make any difference.

CJ

 
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Nice! All the politicians are the same. Dirty. Its all about the $. That is what you get when you allow someone to work private enterprise and state government in the same line of business.
Funny. The state rep I was talking to is a "businessman and entrepreneur". And he was espousing the greatness that is the Citizen Legislature and how he only gets $600 for his time in the Senate. Seems to me he is getting allot more than that by helping to craft the laws.

I use to have to deal with a Huffines Dealership in Lewisville. Always a problem.
Another Huffines brother, Phillip, is currently running in the primary race for Texas senate. If elected, he would undoubtedly join his brother Don, in ensuring that Texas dealerships are well represented in Austin.
 

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"Only vehicles purchased in Texas are eligible for the incentive."

There is a reason that clause is there.

No Tesla are sold in Texas.

The good old boys in Austin has got the Texas Dealer Assoc. in their back pocket.
I don't have a problem with the Dealer Assoc. doing their own business, I have a problem with them forcing their will on everyone else to protect their monopoly and pocketbook.

I couldn't care less about their incentives. This is just blatant abuse of power.

I am trying to think if there is anything we can do about it. What do guys think about restarting another statewide poll regarding Texans' freedom to buy cars like everything else from anyone they chose. There is enough dissatisfactions with the dealers to get a decent response. If we can get enough numbers, that might be a bigger message. Writing and calling them all day doesn't seem to make any difference.

CJ
What do you mean by "No Tesla are sold in Texas" You buy online and go pick them up in the service center. They even take car of the registrations now (according to the Dallas Service Center).

I would be for a statewide poll but don't really know what good it will do here in OIL COUNTRY.
 

LUXMAN

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Another Huffines brother, Phillip, is currently running in the primary race for Texas senate. If elected, he would undoubtedly join his brother Don, in ensuring that Texas dealerships are well represented in Austin.
Just great. Do you know what district?