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Tesla Faces Off Against Car Dealers In Another State: Ohio 214

Posted by timothy
from the most-politicians-deserve-to-be-electrified dept.
cartechboy writes "We've seen Tesla run into regulatory issues in Texas. And North Carolina. This time, it's Ohio, where car dealers are playing an entertainingly brazen brand of hardball. The Ohio Dealers Association is backing an anti-Tesla amendment to Ohio Senate Bill 137--which turns out to be an unrelated, uncontroversial proposal about drivers moving left when they see emergency vehicles (The bill is headed for adoption.) The sudden and subtle amendment would ban Tesla from selling its electric cars directly to customers, who place their orders online with the company after learning about the Model S in company-owned stores. A hearing on the amendment was suddenly scheduled for today; Tesla is fighting back by outlining the economic benefits to Ohio--after taking some legislators for a ride in the Model S (a Tesla tactic that has worked before)."
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Tesla Faces Off Against Car Dealers In Another State: Ohio

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  • by ion9 (2568341) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @01:23PM (#45585491)
    http://www.ohiosenate.gov/senate/index [ohiosenate.gov] Find your Senator and tell them what you think, not that it will do any good.
  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@noSPam.hackish.org> on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @01:39PM (#45585693)

    The commerce clause doesn't say that a state cannot regulate anything that has ever traveled in interstate commerce. Rather, it does two things (as relevant here).

    1. It prevents states from discriminating against out-of-state producers in favor of in-state producers. This is known as the "dormant commerce clause" [wikipedia.org]. So a state could not ban, say, the import of electric cars from out-of-state, while allowing in-state manufactures to produce and sell them them. But the state could completely ban the sale of electric cars within the state. The fact that someone wants to trade the cars in interstate commerce doesn't trump the state's right to regulate sales within its borders.

    2. In certain areas where the federal government has enacted a comprehensive regulatory scheme under the interstate commerce clause such that it intends to fully "occupy the field" to the exclusion of any state regulation of the subject, the federal preemption doctrine [wikipedia.org] does preempt any state laws. This might be closer to what you're thinking of. But it applies only in specific cases, where the federal government has actually explicitly preempted states' authority with a comprehensive regulatory scheme.

  • by TimHunter (174406) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @01:59PM (#45585999)
    Tesla arranged for NC governor McCrory to test-drive a Tesla. http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/06/10/2953779/dome-tesla-lobbyists-give-mccrory.html [newsobserver.com]

    McCrory hopped in for a ride, with a state trooper behind the wheel. Before long, McCrory and the trooper switched, giving the Governor a chance to guide the sleek vehicle around Raleigh.

    It worked. http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/tesla-model-s-scores-big-win-in-north-carolina-in-battle-over-business-practices/ [digitaltrends.com]

  • Ignorance (Score:5, Informative)

    by s.petry (762400) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @02:00PM (#45586011)
    I think you should read up on the Libertarian movement, because they don't want to "move everything to the state level" as you falsely claim. Don't come back with some wacko and claim that's the movement ideology.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Copid (137416) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @02:01PM (#45586043)

    Why do states wish to entrench a specific business model or exclude someone from it?

    Because while it's expensive to buy US Senators and other high profile offices, it's pretty cheap to buy state legislators--well within the grasp of one of the district's wealthier entrepenurs. Like a guy who owns a major car dealership.

  • Re:At least... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @03:47PM (#45587325)

    Incorrect, it is NOT exclusive. The fed has supremacy when it passes a law, but states CAN reach inter-state agreements about many things: liquor laws, metro finance agreements, etc.

    Virginia has reached agreements with Maryland and DC regarding who pays for Metro costs, how the metro runs, who regulates it, etc-- thats not an exclusively federal issue.

    On many things, yes, but not all things. States can collaborate on certain things (or not) but the courts have always held that states cannot pass any laws that would in any way restrict commerce across state lines.

    So if the states of New York and New Jersey agree, for example, to impose a $100-per-unit sales tax on widgets, they can do this. Or if New Jersey decides to undercut New York's $100 tax by charging only $50, it can do this. But New York can't impose a $250 tax on widgets brought in from New Jersey while keeping its own tax rate at $100, because that would be, essentially, a tariff that restricted interstate commerce.

  • by Teancum (67324) <{ten.orezten} {ta} {gninroh_trebor}> on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @07:22PM (#45589985) Homepage Journal

    Actually, yes, Tesla does have "authorized local repair shops" (in this case company owned service centers) in both Texas and North Carolina. More than one in both of those states. I don't know specifically about Ohio, but apparently Tesla is investing in Ohio with some manufacturing jobs too, according to the article and they are planning on expanding their service centers and recharging station network to include Ohio.

    While I will admit that Tesla doesn't have nearly as widespread and extensive network of dealers as well as 3rd party repair shops capable of servicing a Tesla vehicle compared to Ford, GM, or Chrysler, they have been slowly building up such a capability and plan on sticking around in the market. You certainly don't need to put your Tesla Model S on a flatbed truck and bring it to the SF Bay Area in order to get it serviced.

    If you are complaining about service centers, try a brand like Saab, or even worse something like Isuzu (which isn't even being sold in America any more as a passenger vehicle). Parts and service are a real pain in the rump.

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