While the bill SB3, a new legislation to allow electric automakers to sell directly to consumers in Connecticut, appeared to have died during the weekend after bill sponsor Bob Duff said that his caucus was divided on the issue and that he didn’t have the votes:
“I think the car dealers and others have been very effective in lobbying in their favor. We’ll come back again and try in another year.”
Now in a last-ditch effort as the legislative deadline approaches on Wednesday night, Tesla offered the state a new distribution center with 150 jobs to sweeten the deal.
Tesla’s Regional Government Relations Manager, Will Nicholas, announced the new distribution (via Hartford Courant):
“Tesla is prepared to make a real and lasting commitment to Connecticut. We want to invest here. We want to create jobs here. And we want to serve Connecticut customers. The jobs created by this facility, in addition to the jobs created at each and every store, are good paying jobs with good benefits.”
Tesla said Monday that the new distribution center and the five stores it plans to open across the state, if the bill is made into law, would employ 275 people.
The strategy is to counter the dealership association’s rhetoric that the bill would put jobs at risk, while Tesla reiterates that it would create much more jobs without directly affecting the dealerships. GM and the local dealership association launched a strong opposition to the bill and both Tesla and Senator Duff placed part of the blame on the lobbying effort for the bill being blocked. It’s unclear at this point if the distribution center will be enough to tip the scales in Tesla’s favor.