Supporters of House Bill 7097 Join Tesla and State Legislators on Steps of State Capitol

May 16, 2017  Straight from the Tesla Press Release – DOZENS RALLY IN HARTFORD FOR DIRECT AUTOMOBILE SALES BILL.

Rally Comes One Day After New Poll Shows 74 Percent of CT Voters Support Allowing Tesla’s Direct Sales Model.

On Tuesday morning, just one day after the release of a new poll showing that nearly three-quarters of Connecticut voters favor allowing Tesla’s direct-to-consumer automobile sales model in their state, dozens of people rallied at the State Capitol in support of House Bill 7097, An Act Concerning the Licensing of New and Used Car Dealers.

HB 7097, which would authorize the direct sale of electric vehicles without existing dealership franchise agreements, is currently under consideration by the General Assembly. If passed, the bill would encourage electric vehicle adoption in Connecticut, reduce carbon emission, create job opportunities and economic development and decrease public healthcare costs.

According to a poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and released by Tesla on Monday, 74 percent of Connecticut voters support legislation authorizing manufacturers like Tesla to open brick-and-mortar stores in Connecticut. The poll, which surveyed 500 Connecticut voters likely to participate in the 2018 election, also found that 49 percent of respondents would be less likely to support state legislators who opposed such legislation.

Tesla was joined at Tuesday’s rally by House Republican Leader Themis Klarides, State Senator Art Linares, and State Representative Antonio Guerrera. Robert McSherry, Owner of North Haven Auto Body, and Josh Litwin, an MBA student at the University of Connecticut School of Business, also spoke at the event.

“Connecticut’s economy is badly in need of new business and new investments, and that is exactly what Tesla is offering,” said House Republican Leader Themis Klarides. “I urge my fellow legislators to support HB 7097, a bill that will spur job creation and generate revenue for our state.”

“Allowing Tesla sales in Connecticut will change our state for the better,” said State Senator Art Linares. “If the company is able to expand its presence here, we will see a reduction in harmful emissions, an increase in the number of consumers driving electric vehicles, and an increase in the number of good jobs available to Connecticut residents.”

“I’ve seen measures like HB 7097 come before the Transportation Committee, which I chair, three times now, and every time I’ve concluded that authorizing Tesla is the right choice for Connecticut,” said State Representative Antonio Guerrera. “It’s time for my colleagues to finally let Tesla invest in our state.”

“The diverse coalition that’s gathered here today is proof of the wide-reaching, positive impact Tesla has already had in Connecticut,” said Diarmuid O’Connell, Vice President of Business Development for Tesla. “We’ve heard from many legislators and residents across the state that are looking forward to Tesla expanding its presence in Connecticut’s communities through the passage of HB 7097.”

“As a small business owner who works with Tesla, I know how much good the company can do,” said Robert McSherry, Owner of North Haven Auto Body. “Getting more Tesla cars on the road will be a great thing for Connecticut’s economy and environment, and it will mean significantly expanding my business and companies like mine across the industry.”

“Connecticut residents are hard-working and forward-thinking, but the State is losing its competitive edge and many graduating students are attracted to jobs outside the State,” said Josh Litwin, an MBA student at the University of Connecticut School of Business. “State leaders can change this status quo, and inspire students like me to stay in Connecticut after graduation, by letting innovative companies like Tesla do business.”

Tesla’s existing investments in Connecticut include a Service Center in Milford, a gallery in Greenwich, five Supercharger stations and 27 destination chargers across the state. Last Friday, Tesla opened the largest Supercharger station to date on the East Coast at the Connecticut Post Mall in Milford. The company plans to open eight additional Supercharger stations and up to 25 additional destination chargers throughout Connecticut by the end of 2017.

Images – courtesy of Tesla