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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: June 2, 2014 11:04 AM
From: Senator John C. Rafferty, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Legislation Permitting Tesla to Operate in Pennsylvania
As you may know, Telsa Motors, founded by the successful ‘PayPal’ and ‘SpaceX’ entrepreneur Elon Musk, produces an innovative electric vehicle. These cars are presently being sold directly from Tesla throughout the country. Because Tesla is a vehicle manufacturer, however, most states’ laws prohibit them from also acting as a vehicle dealer.

I am therefore introducing legislation to amend the state Board of Vehicles Act to permit Tesla to sell its vehicles in Pennsylvania. The Department of State would continue to license and oversee Tesla and ensure its compliance with applicable state laws, just as it does for all other manufacturers and dealers operating in the Commonwealth.

Such a considered exemption from the manufacturer ownership of dealerships provision of the act is not unprecedented. A similar provision exempting Saturn was added to the law in 2000 under similar circumstances. Like with Saturn, my bill would place no restrictions on the number of retail outlets Tesla can operate in Pennsylvania, nor require Tesla to meet any other conditions besides compliance with existing state licensure requirements.

The Pennsylvania Automotive Association, representing the state’s 900 franchised new vehicle dealers, supports this legislation.

Introduced as SB1409