Tesla Motors Bill Remains Alive As Negotiations Continue
State lawmakers say negotiations are underway between electric carmaker Tesla Motors and Connecticut auto dealers to see if they can finally reach a compromise allowing Tesla to sell its vehicles directly to consumers.
The Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee approved the bill on Tuesday by a vote of 32-19.
Representative Terrie Wood, D-Darien, who voted for the bill, says not allowing Tesla to sell directly to consumers in Connecticut is leaving the state behind on technological innovation and depriving the state of tax revenue. “How the iPhone has changed our world in 10 years, electric cars are going to change our world in 10 years. We need to embrace it. Let’s move forward. Let’s do this. Let’s tax it.”
Republican Senator Scott Frantz of Greenwich, a committee co-chairman, says he was voting to keep the bill alive "in the interest of keeping those negotiations going in a good light."
For the past three years state lawmakers, sympathetic to local car dealerships, have voted against bills to change Connecticut law to permit Tesla to sell directly to consumers and bypass dealers. State law currently prevents a vehicle manufacturer from also being a retailer.
In the meantime, Tesla is selling cars directly to consumers in 24 states, including neighboring Massachusetts and New York.
The Tesla bill now goes to the House for action.