On Friday, West Virginia became the fifth state to say “no way” to Tesla‘s direct sales model, banning the company from selling their electric cars within the state. West Virginia, like many other states, has legislation in place restricting car sales to “dealership” models. The governor signed a bill on Friday to prohibit Tesla from selling directly to the public. To complicate matters, the bill in question was championed by the Senate president, who is an auto dealer in his home state and Kentucky. Tesla’s sales model cuts out the middle man and most states don’t have rules in place for these types of transactions—yet. Tesla recently overcame a similar ban in New Jersey, where lawmakers created new legislation to allow carmakers like Tesla to continue using their showroom-based sales, with a few caveats. It took about a year to develop and implement that legislation, so it’s entirely likely that Tesla is facing the same uphill battle in West Virginia. Currently, Tesla is also restricted to “look but don’t sell” practices in Texas and Arizona as well as West Virginia.
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