Executives with the electric carmaker Tesla Motors met on Wednesday with government officials in San Antonio, according to the San Antonio Express-News, a development sure to spur further talk about Texas' odds of landing the company's $5 billion battery plant.
The Express-News' Josh Baugh and Greg Jefferson quoted an unnamed source who said that after the secret meeting, “It appears San Antonio is back in the game for the project.” The meeting comes a day after San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro took to social media to push changes in state law to make it easier for Tesla to sell its cars in Texas.
Tesla cannot sell its cars directly to consumers in this state because of existing laws protecting auto dealerships, as reported by the Tribune's Jim Malewitz. Gov. Rick Perry kickstarted a simmering debate early this week when he suggested in an interview with the Fox Business channel those laws "are antiquated protections" that should be revisited. A Perry spokeswoman clarified later in the week that Perry did not intend to call a special session to address the dealership protections.
Baugh and Jefferson wrote that it was "unclear" whether a lack of action on the dealership question would hurt the Alamo City's bid for the battery factory. They noted that lawmakers in Arizona, another state competing for the plant, are looking at ways to allow Tesla to sell cars directly to customers.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune