The Ohio legislature gave Tesla a temporary reprieve yesterday when it refused to vote on a bill that would have prohibited the company from selling its vehicles in the state. That means Tesla is good to for now, but it doesn’t preclude the legislature from taking a closer look at the issue come January.
The reason they refused to vote on the bill had less to do with Tesla than it did with how the bill was presented with the Tesla bit being tacked onto a completely unrelated bill. Originally, the bill was only about requiring motorists to pull over when approaching maintenance vehicles. The bit about prohibiting Tesla from selling directly to the public was added on as an amendment in an effort to sneak it through and that didn’t sit well with the Ohio House.
They refused to vote on the bill with Committee Chairman Rex Damschroder, R-Fremont, Ohio saying that it was not the right place for the amendment. He did stipulate that it wasn’t something they were tabling completely and that they might take up the Tesla issue in January giving all the parties involved, including Tesla, time to present their thoughts on the matter.
This isn’t the first time Tesla has fought this particular battle with auto dealers and there are several states where the auto dealers have already won out and made it impossible for Tesla to sell their vehicles. Texas and Arizona have laws on the books making it illegal for auto manufacturers to sell directly to consumers which is Tesla’s sales model.
Although the final verdict is still out in Ohio, Tesla already has a service center located in Columbus and plans to open stores in both Columbus and Cincinnati. They’ve also got plans to open several Superchargers in the state by the end of the year.
Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. Nicole also writes for NerdApproved and GeekMom.