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Good news For Tesla: Arizona moves to legalize direct sales of the electric cars

When the possibility of new jobs clashes with the desires of powerful campaign contributors, sometimes jobs can take priority.

That may be what’s happening in Arizona, where a new bill in the state legislature would legalize the direct-sales model (as opposed to the dealership-network model) of electric-car maker Tesla Motors — to the intense dismay of state car dealers, who want it made permanently illegal.

A similar bill died in January. But now, Arizona has been named one of four finalists for Tesla’s planned “gigafactory” for the lithium-ion cells and battery packs it will need to expand its electric-car production within three years.

The Arizona move is significant because Tesla is facing challenges to its direct-sales model in several states across the nation. Last week, New Jersey said it would enforce a ban on direct sales of cars by manufacturers such as Tesla. State legislators in New York and Ohio are also considering updating existing laws that ban direct sales, and rules in Texas also ban such sales.


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