Tesla, the electric vehicle – battery manufacturing – solar roof building – company continues to build out their high speed charging network which allows their vehicles to travel long distances without the range anxiety other manufacturers have to deal with. Recently a proposal was made to place Superchargers at the new Meijer in the Green Bay area. Chris Knight and I were interviewed about the proposal and it was covered on the local news. As more and more charging options become available, and the vehicles become more affordable, we will hopefully see a transition to more electric vehicles and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
One issue still holding Tesla back in Wisconsin is their inability to sell their cars directly to consumers. Due to a 1930s-era law that was aimed at prohibiting big manufacturers like Ford and General Motors from selling directly to consumers and bypassing dealerships, Tesla isn’t allowed to sell their vehicles directly to consumers in Wisconsin. The fear in the ’30s was the big manufacturers would undercut the dealers on prices, drive them out of business and lessen competition. Today this law prevents new manufacturers from bypassing dealerships, therefore possibly adding additional costs to the consumer’s purchases.
The entire argument against Tesla selling cars directly to consumers is that car dealers may face competition from the companies they currently represent
Tesla currently sells their vehicles online and direct to consumers in states that allow them to do so, and they are hoping to get the law changed in states like Wisconsin. This would allow them to set up a Service Center in Wisconsin, provide test drives, and sell their vehicles from that location. Adding a service center would add jobs and increase sales within the state, which in turn increases tax revenue for the state.
Imagine the implementation of this law in other industries. No more Apple Stores, outlet shops from Under Armour, Nike, American Eagle, etc. Going through dealers would add an unnecessary markup on many of the things consumers buy today and we wouldn’t stand for it. This same anti-competitive process is being forced upon Tesla and we shouldn’t stand for that either.
There are a number of other states that Tesla is currently focused on, including Texas. Every state that Tesla is successful in will pave the way for the states that are still hold outs. Therefore, if you are in Texas and would like to take action, feel free to follow the link and send a letter to your legislator. If you are from Wisconsin, or another state that prevents direct sales, hang tight. As Tesla starts to focus on other states, I’ll update this post on how you can take action. In the meantime, it doesn’t hurt to talk to legislators about the issue but the impact will certainly be greater once Tesla begins to approach legislators as well.
Are you taking action? Leave a comment to let me know!