As a tech geek I’m interested in the tech in my Model S. I also am frustrated with the horribly outdated browser and the half-ass integration of my Premium Slacker Radio account with the in-dash Slacker interface. I love both products but Slacker has been doing half-baked secondary features for years now. Tesla got the media interface “good enough for most people”. In the end Tesla Slacker Radio suffers.
I’m not “most people” especially when it comes to my streaming audio. I want more. I’d like to see all my custom stations when I login to my Premium Slacker account in my Tesla. If Slacker didn’t halfway drop the Favorites feature, the icon now appears on the IOS app but does nothing I could use that. According to Slacker the “Favorites” feature to mark any station as a favorite is being dropped. Tesla disagrees as it is a primary feature when bringing up Slacker stations on their interface.
I can create a custom Slacker Station and get it on my Sonos, through Alexa, and on my mobile apps. I CANNOT get it in my Tesla. I can mark Slacker stations as favorite in my Tesla, and they can be set to be “front and center” on the media app, but I cannot get to them anywhere else. In short custom stations are completely off the radar when it comes to accessing them from the Model S.
The bottom line: The Car Dealer Lobbyists
That’s what it all boils down to. The states with the biggest car dealership and oil company presence have paid… I mean “talked to the”… legislators in their state to make sure that pesky little electric car company does not cut into their business. Originally states passed laws to protect dealers.
Back in the early 50’s the “Big Three” wanted to focus on building cars so they franchised sales to dealers. The dealers would spend their own money to introduce a brand of car they loved to a local market. They spent a lot of money and time to get people to love their Ford or Chevy and make sales.
Then they got scared. The car manufacturers would tell them they had to take cars nobody wanted but they built anyway like the Pinto or they’d stop getting ANY cars. Even worse, the manufacturers threatened to open a competing dealership right next door. And just like that the lawyers and lobbyists were involved and legislation was created to protect the dealers.
What people didn’t anticpate, which legislators often do not when paid to write laws, was that dealers like Hendrick here in the Southeast would become billion-dollar companies. Or that some manufacturers, like Tesla, would never allow franchises and thus not pose unfair competition to a “small local guy that built up brand awareness for them”.
So here we are today with 6 states having an outright ban on Tesla selling cars to consumers. It is no coincence all 6 states have a huge “legacy auto industry” presence such as Michigan with the Big Three auto makers, Texas with the oil industry, and South Carolina with the largest auto dealer in the nation.
Interesting twist, North Carolina also is under the thumb of Hendrick but The State also has significant ties to the financial industry. The battle has gone back-and-forth with Tesla banned from selling in some counties but not others. I guess Elon Musk’s background as a financial services billionare is a fairly even battle with Hendrick’s dealership influence. At the moment you can drive 3 hours from Charleston to buy your Tesla in North Carolina. For now.
Here is an excellent article from EcoWatch that explains it in more detail.
My Tesla Referral code for those looking for free supercharging and a $1,000 discount: