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Governor Vetoes Provision To Allow Tesla’s Direct Sales In Wisconsin

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers vetoed a provision in the state budget that would have allowed Tesla to sell its vehicles directly to consumers, in a third (failed) chance for the EV maker to have a direct-sales business model in the state of Wisconsin.

Last week, the state legislators passed the budget plan, which the Governor had to sign into law this week. In order to secure the vote of Republican lawmaker Chris Kapenga who had reservations on earlier drafts of the state budget proposal, Republicans included in the last minute an amendment, the so-called ‘Tesla provision’, to allow the EV maker to sell its cars directly to consumers bypassing dealerships.

Kapenga voted for the budget, which passed the Senate with 17 votes to 16. Kapenga owns a business that repairs Teslas, but has argued that it’s more like a hobby, and therefore not a conflict of interest. In his newsletter last week when the Senate passed the budget, Kapenga said:

“A free market reform that will help boost the state’s economy was also added at my request. This provision will allow Tesla to open stores and service centers in Wisconsin. Our state law, which originates back to the 1930’s, prevents them from doing business here. This forces customers to drive to Illinois or Minnesota just to purchase or service their vehicle. It’s a reform I have been pushing for a couple of years and was finally able to accomplish.”

Related: Putin: Oil Price Volatility Is Hurting Russia's Economy

Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat, vetoed 78 items upon signing the state budget, including the so-called ‘Tesla provision.’  

Gov. Evers motivated his ‘Tesla veto’ with his objection to “significant changes to existing motor vehicle dealership law and the consumer protections they provide to Wisconsin occurring late in the state budget process and without the opportunity for adequate public input and debate.”

According to Electrek, Evers received US$14,000 during his campaign from the Wisconsin Automobile and Truck Dealer Association which was against the legislation.

Meanwhile, despite reports that it won’t be able to meet Elon Musk’s goal for record production and sales for Q2, Tesla said earlier this week that it achieved record production of 87,048 vehicles and record deliveries of around 95,200 vehicles, beating analyst expectations, sending the stock rallying 7 percent on Tuesday, and giving Tesla bulls a new hope.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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