Recent Mississippi bill limits EV sales to franchise system

Electric vehicles are quickly becoming a lifestyle within the U.S., but the best way some automakers need to sell those vehicles is quickly becoming a flashpoint in some states. AP News reported on a brand new Mississippi bill that doesn’t ban EV sales but restricts how electric-only manufacturers can open latest locations and sell vehicles within the state.

The state Senate approved the bill earlier this week, which seeks to bar EV manufacturers from opening latest dealerships within the state unless they follow the identical rules as everyone else. Governor Tate Reeves hasn’t signed the bill, but when it’s passed, it’ll close loopholes that allow Tesla to operate a dealer-but-not-a-dealer store within the state. Republican lawmakers blame the Biden administration’s push on EV incentives and credits for letting EV brands skirt the principles.

The automaker has one location in Mississippi that the state currently classifies as a store as an alternative of a dealership. One Republican state senator said the setup allows Tesla and others to skirt the principles and receive advantages legacy automakers don’t receive. “We’re saying should you decide to have a brick-and-mortar dealership, you have got to follow the identical laws that everybody else has to follow,” said Senator Daniel Sparks.

Buyers can still shop for EVs online under the bill, so Rivian, Lucid, and others can proceed selling on to Mississippians. Oddly, the laws doesn’t aim to shut down the Tesla store some cited as the explanation behind the bill. Still, latest physical locations could be restricted to automakers willing to enter a franchise agreement.

Though it sounds harsh on paper, Mississippi’s bill isn’t actually all that restrictive and is less aggressive than measures proposed by some state dealer associations. The Illinois Automobile Dealers Association filed a lawsuit against Rivian and Lucid in late 2021, claiming their sales practices violated the state’s dealer laws. A judge dismissed the suit, however the Association has appealed the ruling. A bill in Georgia that will allow Rivian and others to sell on to buyers stalled last yr, despite the incontrovertible fact that the automaker plans to open a $5 billion factory there.

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