The effort by Tesla to win legislative approval to directly sell its electric cars to consumers in Connecticut has failed for the second consecutive year in the face of opposition from car dealers and competing manufacturers, a Senate leader said early Saturday.
Connecticut used to be home to some of the world’s most innovative companies. From Eli Whitney to Samuel Colt, from the frisbee to the submarine, our state has long been a pioneer, setting the standard for businesses that change the world. Despite these setbacks, or maybe because of them, Connecticut is taking a good hard look at itself and the kind of state it wants to be. Will Connecticut welcome innovation and open the doors to businesses wanting to invest in the state or slam that door shut? Fortunately, there are positive signs from some of our leaders in Hartford that the door is open.
Car manufacturers and Connecticut auto retailers pushed back at a bill that would allow electric car makers like Tesla to sell cars in the state without opening a franchise. The bill is being put forward again after being considered last year and dying as the legislative session expired.
After the Senate failed to consider House-backed legislation last session, Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, has introduced a bill to allow electric car manufacturers to sell vehicles directly to consumers in Connecticut. The bill has been opposed by car dealers in the state.
The House of Representatives approved a controversial bill Thursday that would allow Tesla, a California-based electric car manufacturer, to sell vehicles in Connecticut without going through licensed dealers. The bill, which enjoyed bipartisan support, now heads to the Senate.
In the face of tight state finances, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is about to unveil financial incentives for electric vehicle purchases and leases using money from outside the state budget. Malloy will announce that $1 million from the Northeast Utilities/NSTAR merger settlement fund will be used to help jump-start a sluggish EV market in Connecticut.
At a time when new tax revenue, economic development and job growth are urgently needed, Connecticut stands poised to welcome one of the most innovative and sustainability driven companies to the state. Allowing Tesla to compete and sell their vehicles to Connecticut consumers helps further the state’s desire to be home to new, innovative companies.
With only 1,300 plug-in electric vehicles in the state, there’s growing sentiment that Connecticut hasn’t done enough to encourage their purchase, and that added incentives are needed to get more of them on the road.