Photo: Motor Verso
Electric car makers like Tesla and Connecticut residents have won a critical first step in the fight for their rights. On March 24, 2021, the General Assembly's Transportation Committee approved a bill that would allow electric vehicle manufacturers to directly sell their vehicles to Connecticut customers without using franchised dealerships, which should significantly stimulate green vehicle purchases by residents of the state.
SB 127, proposed by State Sen. Will Haskell and state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, was supported by over two-thirds of the committee. This bill is a confirmation of the state's struggle to achieve its goals in the field of electric vehicles.
“We’ve set a really ambitious goal in this state to put 500,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030, but sadly we’re nowhere close to meeting that goal. We've got just over 13,000 electric vehicles on the road,” Haskell said. “Many of us think this state should be doing everything it can to make it easier, more convenient to get behind the wheel of an electric vehicle, and instead our state laws do just the opposite. We force people who want to buy a Tesla, Rivian or Lucid to go out of state to make that purchase.”
SB 127 would allow electric vehicle makers to obtain dealer licenses for new or used cars in Connecticut--provided they comply with requirements, including no franchise with any new car dealers in the state, and retailing only vehicles produced by their company. Among other things, electric vehicle manufacturers would also have to comply with certain conditions regarding their ownership structure.
Dealerships in the state strongly opposed the bill. They go on to argue that the dealership's sales model is a boon to customers, thereby deceiving them. Dealerships charge customers on average an additional 5 to 35% of the cost of the car (depending on the popularity of the model). In fact, buyers give their money to an intermediary who does not at all seek to facilitate the purchase and ownership of the purchased vehicle.
On the contrary, Tesla really cares about its customers by making its cars as efficient as possible and selling them at no extra charge. When buying a car from the company, customers will not pay any markup for selling it to them. Customers get exactly what they ordered, at a transparent price that was quoted by the manufacturer.
Tesla has created an international network of showrooms and galleries. Customers who can take advantage of them will not pay any mark-ups, further enhancing the customer experience. Unlike car dealerships, there is no conflict of interest because customers only deal with Tesla employees. In addition, the company also offers the easiest and fastest way to place an order directly through its website. By not bargaining or spending effort on buying, customers save one of their most valuable human resources: time.
The next critical step for SB 127 will be voting by the full state house and senate, the date for which is to be determined.
© 2021, Eva Fox. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.