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Legislation would authorize electric car manufacturer to sell directly to consumers

COLUMBUS — The Ohio House has signed off on legislation that would allow an electric car manufacturer — namely, Tesla Motors — to continue to sell directly to consumers in the state.

Senate Bill 260 passed on a vote of 88-0 and is headed toward the governor’s desk; a spokesman has indicated that Gov. John Kasich will sign it.

SB 260 generally prohibits the state’s registrar of motor vehicles from granting dealer’s licenses to auto manufacturers who want to sell directly to customers.

But the bill will allow Tesla Motors to continue to operate in the state. The electric car company, which already has stores in Columbus and Cincinnati and another planned for Cleveland, was issued a dealer’s license by the state bureau of motor vehicles, despite provisions in state law requiring retailers to contract with manufacturers in order to qualify for licenses.
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