Connecticut’s Bill 127 Would Allow Tesla To Sell Directly To Consumers
Published on January 17th, 2021 | by Johnna Crider
January 17th, 2021 by Johnna Crider
The EV Club of CT is behind a new bill to make it legal for a company (like Tesla or Rivian) to sell electric vehicles directly to consumers. The EV Freedom Bill has been submitted to Connecticut’s legislature. The bill proposes that manufacturers that produce only electric vehicles and have no existing franchised dealer network be allowed to sell their vehicles directly to the consumer. That includes sales, leasing, delivery, and service. The proposed bill also allows for new ownership models such as subscriptions.
One thing The EV Club of CT noted is that it is important to distinguish these components. Tesla has gained the right to lease and conduct test drives at its Milford service center, but customers have to go to New York to pick up their vehicles. That’s nuts. Imagine having to go to another city just to pick up your iPhone or computer. The EV Club pointed out that even residents of the eastern part of the state have to go to New York and are not permitted to avail themselves of the Tesla facilities in Rhode Island or Massachusetts. Again, this is insane — it’s as if there’s an underground movement aimed at blocking people from buying EVs.
One thing The EV Club of CT pointed out is that existing auto companies and dealerships are not selling EVs. “This club supports all EVs, but we also have to recognize reality and consider that this industry needs to evolve or adapt its model,” the author wrote. The article noted that the New York Times and the Sierra Club have reported on this extensively and that 74% of dealers nationally were not selling EVs in 2019.
What Dealerships Don’t Understand
The dealerships are so focused on banning Tesla and lobbying against Tesla and other EV makers from selling directly to customers that they overlook one important fact. It’s not about Tesla or the dealers’ competition and it never should be. It’s about the consumer. Let me explain this from a different perspective.
I make and sell jewelry online. I accept many forms of payment simply because I want it to be easy for someone to buy from me. Jewelry and cars are two different things but the concept is the same. Make it easy to purchase, and people will come and buy from you. Dealerships are known for complicating matters. They are of the “middle man” and they complicate matters so that they can milk more money from the consumer. People want to buy cars, but they also don’t want to be ripped off.
Dealerships are focused on the money, not the consumer, but times are changing. Now dealerships are competing with companies that are focused on the consumer first, money second, and they are terrified. This is why, I believe, they lobby so hard against EV manufacturers and pitch the idea that “we are small businesses that are going to be put out of business by Tesla and Rivian.”
If you are in Connecticut, you can contact your legislators and tell them that you support this bill.
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Selling Teslas in 2012 vs. 2021