by Christopher Freeburn | March 20, 2014 10:52 am
On Wednesday, a panel of the Arizona state senate approved a measure that would permit Arizona consumers purchase vehicles directly from Tesla Motors (TSLA).
Tesla will be able to sell cars directly in the state under a new exemption in Arizona law created by HB2123, which was approved by a 3 to 2 vote of the state Senate Committee on Commerce, Energy and Military Affairs. The bill must still be voted on by both full branches of the state legislature before it reaches the governor’s desk. Existing state law requires car and truck sales only through independent dealerships, but the new measures exempts electric vehicles from the law, the Arizona Daily Sun notes.
Arizona is current vying with other western states to become the home of a new lithium-ion battery factory planned by Tesla.
The Arizona Automobile Dealership Associated argued against the measure, claiming that dealerships provided an added layer of protection for consumers when dealing with automakers. Since the new exemption applies to companies that make only electric vehicles, other automakers have also criticized the move. They note that electric cars like General Motors’ (GM) Chevy Volt won’t be covered by the change.
Tesla operates one showroom in Scottsdale. Currently, the Tesla showroom can’t offer test drives or take vehicle orders.
Earlier this month, New Jersey ruled that Tesla cannot sell its vehicles directly to consumers in the Garden State.
Tesla stock rose modestly in Thursday morning trading.
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