Car dealer lobbyists successfully kill direct EV sales bill in Connecticut

Tesla and other EV automakers were hopeful Senate Bill 127 in Connecticut would finally give them the ability to sell cars directly to consumers.

They will have to try again as the legislation died on the floor of the General Assembly last night.

Unsurprisingly, it appears the main reason behind the failed legislation was the powerful dealership association which saw the bill as an attack on consumers.

“They’re happy to see the legislature once again put consumers first,” Sarah Fryxell, president of the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association said.

Some lawmakers were not convinced. Sen. Will Haskell, co-chair of the transportation committee wondered why the state continuously fails to embrace a direct sales model that will only bring more business to the state. This is the fifth attempt in as many years to get similar legislation passed.

“Why in the world are we turning this business away?” he said.

The sentiment was echoed by Dan West, director of public policy at Rivian, who had previously said the despite the claims of the dealership association, the bill would not harm existing dealers.

“Consumers can purchase an electric vehicle from the likes of Rivian or they can purchase a traditional vehicle from their local dealer,” he said. “This legislation will not harm existing dealers.”

This story is not unfamiliar to Tesla. Even though the automaker is spending hundreds of millions of dollar to build Giga Texas, they will not be allowed to sell cars made at the factory within Texas. After similar legislation died just a few weeks ago, Tesla will have to be ship cars out of state before they can be sold to a resident of Texas.

Source: Hartford Courant

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