Tesla Motors heaved a sigh after a legislation aimed at blocking the carmaker from selling its electric cars in North Carolina through the Internet has been put on hold. Since there were no imminent actions on dealer-backed legislation that included Tesla-related provisions and other changes to dealer franchise law, legislators on June 25, 2013, moved split the bill into two pieces.
Several elements of the original bill were attached to an unrelated bill that is moving forward. A House committee passed out the amended bill on June 25, 2013, and was scheduled for a vote on June 27, 2013.
Those elements of the original bill, however, have nothing to do with Tesla. The amended bill placed for a vote addresses subjects like warranty reimbursement, loaner vehicles and training. Robert Glaser, president of the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association, said that they already had negotiated those changes with carmakers.
On the other hand, the original bill that contains the provisions affecting Tesla is still in the House Transportation Committee. With North Carolina's legislative session expected to end in early July, dealers are concerned that the bill would be squeezed out at the last minute and would fail to come to a vote, Glaser remarked.
But Tesla's opponents remained optimistic, with Glaser saying that the "Tesla bill is still alive and well." He said that they just have to work with the leadership of the House to get the bill heard. According to Glaser, the committee could still consider the original bill this session, but such move is unlikely. The bill would then be carried over into the 2014 session, which starts in May.