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Tesla could expand in Wisconsin with new bill to allow direct sales

Several of Tesla’s most public battles to win the right to sell its cars directly to customers, like in Michigan and in North Carolina, have been stalling.

Now the company turns to the state of Wisconsin where a new bill is about to be introduced to allow them to open stores and service centers in the state. 

Tesla already has 8 Supercharger stations in Wisconsin and it plans several more according to its online map, but it still doesn’t have any store or service center due to the state’s ban on automakers operating dealerships.

Local news report that a Republican state representative and a Republican state senator are about to introduce a new bill to exempt electric car makers from the ban:

“Rep. Rob Brooks, R-Saukville, and Sen. Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield, plan to hold a news conference Wednesday afternoon about a bill that would allow manufacturers of solely electric vehicles to sell directly to consumers.”

That’s an approach that Tesla has taken in the past. Instead of going for a broad removal of the ban for all automakers, it asks for a specific exception for electric automakers, which attracts less resistance from the dealerships.

Electrek’s Take

We wouldn’t be surprised if it faces opposition from dealerships and other automakers anyway.

Those new efforts to get over direct sale bans are especially important for Tesla with the imminent customer launch of the Model 3. While it can still be technically circumvented in most cases through online sales, those customers will expect a retail and service presence.

In the case of Wisconsin, cities like Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Madison would likely get some retail locations and service centers.

Currently, Tesla owners in Wisconsin have to go to Minneapolis or Chicago to get service. Tesla’s expansion of its mobile service fleet could prove useful here though I am not sure of how it plays into the ban.

We should have a better idea of the plan once they release the full bill later today.

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