Can I buy a Tesla in Iowa? – No

Iowa has a Republican governor who claims (like all Republicans) to be pro business. We also have a strong clean energy economy both through our adoption of ethanol as well as windmills for electricity. Because of all these things it is egregious that the best selling electric car in the world is not able to be purchased in Iowa. Tesla cars are unable to be purchased in Iowa due to a law related to dealership franchises, which Tesla does not have.
No one likes going to dealers. They are awful to deal with. They jerk you around on vehicle sale price. They try to talk you into buying something more than you need or can afford. I can’t say I have ever met someone who is genuinely excited about going to a car dealer.
Alternatively, Tesla, which makes the most efficient and best selling EV’s in the world, and which are made in the USA, are unable to be purchased in Iowa, the state with the highest amount of green wind energy per capita.
Tesla vehicle pricing is also clear on their website. Everyone pays the same for a Tesla. 

I have personally written multiple of my state representatives and senators to try to get them to make a move on this to remove this law from the books.
Here was my interaction with the state representative (I will tell you which one if you ask me directly). 

Dear Rep.

Iowa is a state that has approximately 40% of it’s energy supplied by windmills. We say we are a green state. But residents are unable to purchase a Tesla, the best selling electric car ever, in our state. This is due to archaic laws and crony capitalism. I urge you to help change these laws. – Axel Hoogland

Reply – 

Dear Axel Hoogland,

Thank you for your email.  I had no idea it was such a problem to buy a Tesla in Iowa. I spoke with another legislator who owns a Tesla and she said it was because of franchisees code. You are able to buy a Tesla in Iowa but it remains difficult to pick one up anywhere nearby. Unfortunately there is not a coalition nor political will to move language forward. I will watch this…it doesn’t seem to be fair nor help us reach our sustainability goals. Please email me anytime.

Yours, Rep.

This is representative of every email I have sent to a politician, regardless of the policy I am addressing. Admitting that it is bad, backpedaling that “there is no will to do anything about it.”


That is why I am sharing my views with the internet. I would ask anyone who thinks that you should be able to buy a Tesla in Iowa to just send your state representative or state senator a short email. You could even copy mine.  (below) 

Here is where you can find the list of Iowa State Representatives. Email any one of them, or all of them!  https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/house

Dear Rep.

Iowa is a state that has approximately 40% of it’s energy supplied by windmills. We say we are a green state. But residents are unable to purchase a Tesla, the best selling electric car ever, in our state. This is due to archaic laws and crony capitalism. I urge you to help change these laws. – Your Name

It seems like a very simple law to erase. The only people who it seems to benefit are the car dealerships, not individuals. So why won’t state politicians change this law?

There was even an 80 pager report in 2016 from the Iowa Economic Development Authority titled “Advancing Iowa’s Electric Vehicle Market” which specifically mentioned the issue that Tesla’s are unable to be sold in Iowa. If they truly wanted to “Advance the Electric Vehicle Market” in Iowa the easiest and best thing they could do would be to allow the cars to be sold here.That report can be found here.

https://www.iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/userdocs/programs/AdvancingIowasElectricVehicleMarketReport.pdf

Page 55 (pdf page 62) shared the information about Tesla/dealership laws in Iowa.

Like all progress that is inevitable, sometime in the next 10 years it is very likely that Iowa citizens will be able to purchase a Tesla in the state of Iowa. I am giving state politicians an easy win here by asking them to overturn an arcane law that is hurting a progressive American Business and hurting Iowans, making them drive out of state to make a large purchase.

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