Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves signed a bill requiring electric car companies to sell vehicles through local businesses instead of stores owned by the company.
“Almost 200 small businesses in communities across our state are seeking assurances that big manufacturers can’t just destroy their businesses. That’s fair!” Reeves, a Republican, said on social media, adding that he recognizes innovation is inevitable.
“And with innovation comes new companies with new business models,” Reeves said. “I am committed to find long-term solutions—in an ever changing market. I look forward to working with all parties going forward to do just that.”
State House Republican Trey Lamar introduced the legislation that opponents of the bill say interferes with the free market, while those in favor say the law only ensures that companies are subject to the same state laws as dealerships.
Tesla, the one electric car store in the state in Brandon, Mississippi, will be allowed to remain open under the new law; however, if Tesla or any other electric-car company want to open another store in the state, they would have to follow the same state franchise regulations that traditional dealerships follow.
‘Please Don’t Tell Me Tesla Doesn’t Identify as a Car’
Republican state Sen. Daniel Sparks told the Associated Press when the Senate passed the bill at the beginning of March in a 38–14 vote that it prevents electric car manufacturers from benefitting from advantages that local, traditional car dealerships don’t have.
“We’re saying if you choose to have a brick-and-mortar dealership, you have to follow the same laws that everyone else has to follow,” Sparks said. “Please don’t tell me Tesla’s car doesn’t identify as a car.”
Republican state Sen. Jeremy England opposed the bill because he believes it could put Mississippi behind in the market for electric vehicles, he told WREG news.
“We’re telling the electric vehicles to use a different sales model, that their sales model is not acceptable in Mississippi,” England said. “How that hurts consumers is, number one, these electric vehicles, if you have to go to a middleman and go to a dealership, you can already count on a 5% increase in cost tacked on just for the middleman on that. By shutting down their sales model to get these electric vehicles to the consumers here in Mississippi, I believe we’re sending the wrong message. I think we’re telling them we’re going to do things the old way here in Mississippi. Good luck in the other states. They’re going to start selling their vehicles there and we’re going to miss out on it.”
Incentives found in President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure and Inflation Reduction Act have led to a surge of EV-related industrial plants, many of which are cropping up in a formation called “The Battery Belt” in southern states such as Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina
Still, as investments in the building of these plants have increased, demand for electric vehicles is reportedly declining due to high costs, supply-chain issues, accessibility to charging stations, and other issues, while manufacturing companies are showing billions in losses in their quarterly reports.
Katabella Roberts, Bryan Jung, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Original News Source Link
Running For Office? Conservative Campaign Consulting – Monthly Rates!