Tesla protests limit on company stores
Tesla is fighting legislation to limit the electric-car company’s stores and service centers in Washington state.
The Associated Press
OLYMPIA — Tesla Motors enthusiasts drove their electric cars to the Capitol to protest legislation they say would prevent the company from opening and operating additional facilities in the state.
Tesla lobbyist Daniel Witt told supporters Monday that under proposed legislation, Tesla could not expand beyond the two stores and service centers it operates in Seattle and Bellevue.
Language in House Bill 2524 and its companion Senate Bill 6272 says the state could not issue additional facility licenses because of Tesla’s status as a manufacturer and not as a dealer. The company sells directly from the manufacturer to the consumer.
Lawmakers said Monday they were working on amendments to reduce the impact on Tesla.
Bill sponsor Sen. Mike Hewitt, R-Walla Walla, said he was open to making sure the Palo Alto, Calif., automaker could keep already established facilities.
Washington state has the most Tesla cars per capita in terms of sales, Witt said.