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San Antonio denied Tesla’s plan for a showroom over water contamination concerns

tesla-store-los-angeles-photo-misha-bruk-mbh-architects_100449434_hLast month Tesla’s plan for a showroom and service center in San Antonio was denied approval by the city zoning commission over concerns that Tesla’s battery packs could potentially contaminate the local water supply. The commission denied the proposal despite the recommendation of San Antonio Water System (SAWS) which approved Tesla’s project.

The project was up for another vote last week, but Tesla pulled the proposal to work on some the details ahead of more concerns leading up to the vote… The rejected proposal is just the latest instance of the company’s troubles in Texas. The state’s direct sales prohibit Tesla from selling cars in the state.

Tesla insists on bypassing dealerships which they see as an outdated middleman between car manufacturers and customers. They instead sell their cars directly to customers through their company-owned stores or through their website. In Texas, the stores are replaced by showrooms, like the one proposed in San Antonio, in which Tesla employees can educate potential buyers on electric vehicles and Tesla’s offering, but they can’t give test drives or talk about pricing. They refer customers to Tesla’s website if they want more information or to place an order.

Tesla said it would keep only 10 battery packs at the San Antonio location and it is difficult to imagine how the packs could contaminate the water supply considering they are tightly sealed.

The company is planning to bring back the proposal to the city council after figuring out more details.

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  1. BigWu - 8 years ago

    This is a hoot!

    Fracking, which involves directly pumping *mystery* chemicals is okay. So are gasmobile service stations with underground tanks which are known to leak over time and which contain up to 1.3% by volume of the known carcinogen benzene. But sealed battery packs with no known carcinogens are forbidden?

    Either this is an EPIC science fail or the commission was “incentivized” to deny the application.

  2. whoislawyermommy - 8 years ago

    But fracking with *mystery* chemicals is okay, as are gasmobile service stations with underground fuel tanks containing up to 1.3% by volume of the known carcinogen benzene.

    Is this an epic science fail or is something much fishier going on here?

    • BigWu - 8 years ago

      Re the above post: that post is mine (BigWu). I have no idea why the site posted it with someone else’s screen name. Very odd.

  3. TC - 8 years ago

    Boo! Boo! Shame on you San Antonio Texas. This is so blatantly obvious that you and your politicians are paid and controlled by BIG OIL. So sad I used to really like to visit you but will visit you no more.

    • Fred Lambert - 8 years ago

      I’m not saying it is from outside pressure, but if it was, I would think It’d be probably from dealerships over direct sales and not big oil, but who knows.

  4. Mr. Itchy - 8 years ago

    If you’re going to kowtow to bribery, I mean, campaign donors, at least have the balls to come out and say it, rather than making up a BS story about water contamination. The city council are a bunch of felons and liars.

  5. Nathanael - 7 years ago

    This is complete stupidity on the part of San Antonio. Perhaps they will prohibit stores selling laptops, too, due to fear of water contamination.

  6. Jamn - 7 years ago

    Why can’t I purchase a Tesla in Texas!!! This car is an American made fine automobile, and Texas won’t allow me to buy one? What the heck? I know this must violate one of my rights as an American!!! I will purchase one even if I have to go out of the state of Texas to do so. Y’all need to get with the program and stop being so “bass ackwards”.


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