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North Carolina governor test-drives Tesla Model S amid dealer fight

Political lobbyists from Palo Alto-based Tesla scored a small win this week, when they got North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory behind the wheel of a Model S for an impromptu test drive. Legislators in his state are pushing an anti-Tesla bill through state government, designed to block the luxury electric carmaker from selling Teslas direct-to-consumers.

The News & Observer reports lobbyists have met with more than a dozen lawmakers in recent weeks, often showing up with a Model S for them to test drive.

On Monday, they took the top executive at the state’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources for a spin. He liked the car so much he drove it straight to McCrory’s house, and urged the governor to take it out on the road.

McCrory hasn’t weighed in yet on a bill that would ban Tesla’s online, direct-to-consumer car sales model. That model threatens the traditional car dealership business. The bill sailed through the state Senate (with direction from the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association), but has stalled in the House.


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