The battle between Tesla and state car dealership associations continues to rage on, however the tide may be slowly turning in favor of the electric automaker. After New Jersey passed legislation that makes it illegal for Tesla to sell cars directly to consumers, new bills in Arizona and Ohio could legalize the brand’s direct sales model.
Tesla has not been able to sell its vehicles in Arizona because the state currently does not allow automakers to sell cars directly to consumers – but that could soon change. A new bill could legalize Tesla’s direct sales model. Why is Arizona changing its mind? Tesla is currently figuring out the final details for its upcoming gigafactory battery factory – including where it will be built. The $5 billion factory could bring thousands of jobs to Arizona, if Tesla decides to build it there, but unfortunately Tesla is not going to build it in a state where it’s illegal for the company to sell its cars.
As a result, Arizona House Bill 2123 was recently amended to strike down laws against Tesla’s sales model. The bill would only allow automakers that only sell electric vehicles to use the direct to consumer sales model. The bill is similar to a compromise between Tesla and the state of Ohio. It was illegal for Tesla to sell its vehicles in Ohio, but the state amended its law so that Tesla can sell its vehicles out of three stores, as long as it continues to sell only electric vehicles.
There are also reports that Texas may change its laws in favor of Tesla in an effort to attract the new gigafactory. Lastly, New Jersey may reverse its decision after all – Assemblyman Tim Eustace has introduced a new bill that would allow Tesla to continue to sell vehicles in the state.