As part of the flurry of legislative activity last week, Pennsylvania lawmakers approved a bill allowing Tesla Motors to open more locations in the state. Tesla Motors has thus far sold its $71,000 Model S sedans directly, and not through the traditional car dealership model.
Tesla currently operates a showroom in King of Prussia and service centers in Norristown and Devon, and is planning another showroom in Devon. The bill, which still needs Governor Tom Corbett’s signature, allows Tesla to open up to five stores in Pennsylvania.
In many states Tesla has faced strong opposition from car dealerships, but Pennsylvania's bill was done in concert with the Pennsylvania Automotive Association. The five-location limit was the compromise to get car dealerships to support the bill. "We basically carved out an exemption," the dealer association's Andy Scott told LVB.com. "We are very much into free markets, but everyone’s got to have a level playing field."
The bill does not just apply to Tesla: It allows any zero-emissions automaker to sell cars directly in the state at up to five locations. The New Jersey assembly recently approved a similar bill. “We hope the process in Pennsylvania serves as an example for how productive cooperation can lead to a win for all parties involved, dealers and legislators included,” Tesla VP Diarmuid O’Connell said in a statement.