With the new year, several states are launching their new legislative sessions and Tesla is taking yet another shot at making its direct-sales business model legal in those where they are still banned.
A decade after starting to sell cars in the US, Tesla is still facing opposition from car dealership lobbies to prevent them from selling their vehicles in certain states.
They are using old laws meant to prevent automakers to compete with their own franchise dealers to pressure state officials to block Tesla from selling vehicles even though the California-based automaker never had its own franchise dealers.
There are over half of dozen states that either currently bans Tesla’s business model or restrict its number of stores and service centers.
Over the years, the automaker has launched lobbying efforts to change the laws in some states.
Some efforts were successful and others weren’t, like in Connecticut where Tesla had 3 bills fail year after year.
While the US federal government is shut down, state governments are still running and the legislature in some states started opening new sessions and proposing new bills.
Tesla is taking the opportunity to push some new bills that could allow them to expand their retail and service presence in several states.
Here are 6 new bills that Tesla is pushing this year (hat tip to Pluto on TMC):
- Connecticut – HB 5285
- Nebraska – LB 51
- New Mexico – SB 243
- Oklahoma – SB 790
- South Carolina – S 379
- West Virginia – HB 2219
Tesla is expected to push legislation in more states as more sessions open in the coming weeks and months.
You know how we feel about this issue. It’s quite ridiculous. These laws to block Tesla exist to protect dealerships against potential unfair competition against their own automakers.
Now instead of using them as intended, they are trying to apply them to automakers who have never had franchise dealerships, like Tesla.
At its core, it’s a free market issue where a well-intended regulation is used by a group of people to maintain an artificial monopoly.
Those issues should be fixed quite easily, but the auto dealer lobby has a strong influence on politicians in many states, which is often prevailing over common sense.
At the end, it results in slowing down the rollout of electric vehicles, which we think is the greater issue.
These things move slowly, but if you live in those states and want to help Tesla, it probably wouldn’t hurt to reach out to your local state representatives and talk to them about those bills.
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