Here’s an update on House Bill (HB) 235 which would allow certain electric vehicle manufacturers including Tesla to sell cars direct to customers in Maryland. The bill received a favorable report by the House Environment and Transportation Committee after amendments advocated by GM were added. The second reading with amendments passed the full House on March 19, 2015. UPDATE: The third reading passed in the House, 137-0, on March 20, 2015.
The Maryland Automobile Dealers Association testified that they supported the bill. However, GM opposed it, as originally filed, and insisted on amendments to limit Tesla and any other manufacturer falling under the statute to only be licensed to operate at two locations.
GM seems to have been successful in their lobbying to get those amendments. The amendments allow two sales locations in Maryland. One of those two licenses can only be issued in Montgomery County. This would, in effect, grandfather the current Tesla location at Montgomery Mall and allow only one more sales location in the entire state.
The process starts all over again in the Senate. First stop will be in the Judicial Proceedings Committee. That bill has not been filed as of March 20.
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