Will New York Be the Next State to Ban Tesla?

Tesla Motors Car

New York was almost the next state where Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) can’t get comfortable. Two separate bills slipped into the schedule as New York’s legislative assembly wound down its session, prompting concern from company officials and good government groups. Following the event showcasing the automaker’s quick battery-swap system, Elon Musk took to Twitter to mention New York dealers were “sneaking through a bill to shut down Tesla” in the state. However, the assembly didn’t act on them by the close of Friday’s session.

Unlike measures in North Carolina and Texas, one of the New York bills would have made it illegal to register a vehicle that wasn’t sold through a third party not related to the company. The only company operating showrooms without dealers in New York state is Tesla, so the company was right to believe it was being targeted.

However, Bloomberg reported late Friday that one bill had been set aside by New York’s assembly. Though New York has become known as a place where last-minute bills are rushed through the legislature at the end of sessions, the lower chamber adjourned without addressing it. That move takes it off the schedule until as late as January.

Aside from the tactic that would keep owner-operated dealerships out of New York, the laws also threatened to shut down Tesla stores already open for business in the state.

Several Tesla stores are now open for business in New York. However, had the bills in the state assembly passed, it would have made it illegal to license stores owned by an automaker, and make it illegal to renew the licenses of any now operating. That element would in effect shut down any Tesla location in the state and prohibited others from ever opening. It would have amounted to a statewide ban.

Critics who say New York’s legislature does in fact “sneak through” bills late in sessions would be relieved to learn the measures that would have punished Tesla did not pass. Elon Musk got back on Twitter to thank lawmakers for “holding the line. Appreciate senators resisting influence of auto dealer lobby,” he wrote on Friday. For now, Tesla can keep at it in the Empire State.

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