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Can car dealers survive Tesla and the electric vehicle?

Tesla Motors Inc. has one showroom in Natick, Mass., a service facility nearby in Watertown and about 300 of its roadster and Model S electric vehicles on the road in Massachusetts. Its presence here may be about to get bigger.

The company (Nasdaq: TSLA) says it plans to build “Tesla Superchargers” – its ultra-fast electric-vehicle charging stations – in “most metropolitan areas” by this fall. “Coast to coast” travel is planned by the winter. Tesla is working hard on “range anxiety” – but its fueling station aspirations and its legislative battle with Massachusetts auto dealers reveal ambitions that could get a lot bigger than its touted mission to promote electric vehicle technology.

As it emerges as one of the first companies to make a profit selling electric vehicles, Tesla has established a fast-growing footprint at every stage of personal transportation, from component manufacture (making drive trains for Mercedes and Toyota), to auto manufacture, sales and service and fueling stations.


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