Tesla shows Model S to influence NC auto bill - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Tesla shows Model S to influence NC auto bill

Posted: Updated:
RALEIGH, N.C. -

North Carolina lawmakers and passersby stopped to take in a display of Tesla Motors' award-winning electric cars Wednesday as the company presses against a bill in the General Assembly that effectively outlaws Tesla's Internet-based sales model.
    
The California automaker drew sporadic crowds around its Model S electric car outside the legislative building. The company is lobbying against a bill backed by the state's auto dealers that prevents electronic transactions with auto manufacturers.
    
The Senate already passed the bill, which mostly updates the relationship between manufacturers and dealers but has generated interest because of the outcry over Tesla. The auto dealers who pushed for it argued Tesla is operating with an unfair advantage and the existing laws are designed to protect consumers in terms of warranties, service and other aspects of the industry.
    
Tesla has asked consumers to tell their legislators that the only thing dealers are protecting is their monopoly on retail.
    
North Carolina isn't the first state to present a road block. The company operates 29 stores and galleries across 14 states and Washington, D.C., but it doesn't physically sell its cars at those locations. Instead, the company directs customers to the Internet.
    
Most states have laws protecting franchise dealers by requiring manufacturers to sell through them. In other states, though, auto dealers and legislators have mostly recently tried to halt the expansion of the stores, not to restrict online sales.
    
Colorado stopped their spread through a state law in 2010. Since then, Minnesota lawmakers unsuccessfully pushed for a similar measure. In New York and Massachusetts, dealers have unsuccessfully sued to shut down the dealer's stores.
    
The Model S is Motor Trend's 2013 car of the year and Consumer Reports' highest-rated car in the publication's history. The Model S comes with a base price tag of about $70,000 and can travel up to 300 miles on a single charge.
    
The Senate pages gathered around the car Wednesday were more impressed by the design.
    
"The whole car just looks futuristic," said Elliott Graves, a 15-year-old student at Rockingham Early College High School in Wentworth. "The dashboard is so cool. The handle bars go away until you come back."
    
He was referring to the door handles that automatically retract when the car is locked. Another Senate page was also taken by the touchscreen dashboard that incorporates cabin controls, vehicle data, communications and media.
    
"It's like a mini computer in there," said Jineet Patel, 16, of Wake Early College of Health and Sciences.
    
Rep. Mitchell Setzer, R-Catawba, passed by as the boys were gushing over the car. He said the Model S looks impressive, but he's not sure he can handle it.
    
"It's a beautiful car, but I have enough trouble with the iPad. It's like something out of 'The Jetsons.' Y'all don't know 'The Jetsons,'" he said, addressing the pages about the 1960s futuristic cartoon show. "I'm dating myself here."
    
Sen. Ellie Kinnaird, D-Orane, lauded the creativity and design of the car after watching it automatically start up when she sat down, but she said she doesn't regret joining the 47 other senators who voted unanimously for the bill.
    
"Dealerships are one of those basic industries that are the roots of a small town," she said. "The model convinced me that, while this is visionary, the reality is it has to evolve to a local presence."

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • Lawmakers in last-minute moves over NC budget

    Lawmakers in last-minute moves over NC budget

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:27 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:27:50 GMT
    File PhotoFile Photo
    Legislative budget-writers are toiling to finalize an annual spending plan for North Carolina government four days after announcing a deal and a day after leading lawmakers described its main points.Senate budget-writer Sen. Harry Brown says a finalized document won't be done until late Wednesday.
    Legislative budget-writers are toiling to finalize an annual spending plan for North Carolina government four days after announcing a deal and a day after leading lawmakers described its main points.Senate budget-writer Sen. Harry Brown says a finalized document won't be done until late Wednesday.
  • NC weighs giving upfront money for promised jobs

    NC weighs giving upfront money for promised jobs

    North Carolina lawmakers are considering breaking with a generation of state job-hunting efforts and giving corporations upfront money to move.
    North Carolina lawmakers are considering breaking with a generation of state job-hunting efforts and giving corporations upfront money to move.
  • NC Senate signs off on farm bill

    NC Senate signs off on farm bill

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:54 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:54:19 GMT
    File PhotoFile Photo
    The Senate voted Wednesday to agree to a bill that would shield DENR from disclosing complaints and investigations on farms.
    The Senate voted Wednesday to agree to a bill that would shield DENR from disclosing complaints and investigations on farms.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Screams, panic caught on video as shark charges at swimmers near beach

    Screams, panic caught on video as shark charges at swimmers near beach

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:48:04 GMT
    Facebook image from Dan FlynnFacebook image from Dan Flynn
    A Florida beach cleared out – with the exception of a woman and lifeguard who tried to save her – when a shark was spotted heading straight toward swimmers on Tuesday afternoon. The panic of the 10-foot shark and people screaming from the pier was caught on tape.
    A Florida beach cleared out – with the exception of a woman and lifeguard who tried to save her – when a shark was spotted heading straight toward swimmers on Tuesday afternoon. The panic of the 10-foot shark and people screaming from the pier was caught on tape.
  • Former Miss Savannah Breaks Silence about Killing Boyfriend

    Former Miss Savannah Breaks Silence about Killing Boyfriend

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:14 AM EDT2014-07-31 04:14:37 GMT
    Eleven years ago Savannah ignited worldwide attention when the city's beauty queen of just 4 months was charged with the murder of her boyfriend.
    Eleven years ago Savannah ignited worldwide attention when the city's beauty queen of just 4 months was charged with the murder of her boyfriend.
  • Want to Repel Mosquitoes? There's an App for That

    Want to Repel Mosquitoes? There's an App for That

    The latest buzz on mosquito season... it's here and it can be miserable. I seem to attract mosquitoes. Every time I step outside, I get bit. But there's a new high-tech weapon that could help, and it doesn't come in the form of a spray or clip. It's simply a free app on your smartphone.Anti-mosquito apps give off ultrasonic frequencies that are designed to scare the mosquitoes away. They do this by either mimicking the sounds of mosquito predators, such as dragonflies and bats, or by using th...
    The latest buzz on mosquito season... it's here and it can be miserable. I seem to attract mosquitoes. Every time I step outside, I get bit. But there's a new high-tech weapon that could help, and it doesn't come in the form of a spray or clip. It's simply a free app on your smartphone.Anti-mosquito apps give off ultrasonic frequencies that are designed to scare the mosquitoes away. They do this by either mimicking the sounds of mosquito predators, such as dragonflies and bats, or by using th...
Powered by WorldNow

1430 East Victory Drive
Savannah, GA 31404

Telephone: 912.651.0300
Fax: 912.651.0320
Email: newsemailalert@wsav.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.