Arizona Capitol

Arizona's Pro-Tesla Bill Suddenly Back in Play

Though the bill proposed at the Arizona Legislature to legalize the sale of Tesla vehicles in the state essentially died, it's suddenly been brought back to life.

The move happens to come just as Arizona and Texas became considered two of four finalists for a large battery factory planned by the electric car-maker, whose cars can't be legally sold in either state.

See also:
-Arizona Congressmen Ask Tesla to Open Arizona Plant, While Its Cars Can't Be Sold Here

As we mentioned this morning, Tesla doesn't have franchised dealers anywhere but rather owns its retail locations. Telsa CEO Elon Musk has argued that franchise dealers have a "fundamental conflict of interest" by also selling gasoline cars.

In Arizona, and a handful of other states, it's illegal for automotive factories to sell vehicles directly to consumers.

So it seemed a little silly that Arizona's nine congressmen wrote to Musk, practically begging that the facility be built in Arizona, stating, "We are committed to working together at every level of government to foster a prosperous environment in our state so companies like Tesla Motors can thrive."

In January, we wrote about Republican Representative John Kavanagh's bill that would change Arizona's law, and allow Tesla's sales model to operate in the state, but no action has been taken on the bill since then, effectively killing it due to certain deadlines.

Behold, the strike-everything amendment. To circumvent that whole process with deadlines and whatnot, the strike-everything amendment allows legislators to cross out the text of an entire bill, and replace it with new text.

So House Bill 2123, which already passed the House as a bill that had absolutely nothing to do with cars at all, is now the new pro-Tesla bill. Republican Senator John McComish introduced the strike-everything amendment at a committee hearing today, and that bill passed the committee.

In regards to the factory, Tesla claims is represents a $4 to 5 billion investment, and will have about 6,500 employees. In addition to Arizona and Texas, New Mexico, and Nevada also are states the company is considering for the factory.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley