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Senate deal allows three Tesla dealerships in Ohio
The bill grants Tesla permission to keep selling its cars directly to customers at stores in Columbus, Cincinnati, and eventually, Cleveland
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
Republican Sen. Tom Patton of Strongsville says the intention of this bill was never to shut down any company’s operations in Ohio.
Courtesy of The Ohio Senate
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A deal to allow the electric car maker Tesla to continue selling to Ohio customers came before lawmakers today. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports it settles a controversy that almost brought the state’s auto dealers into court.

LISTEN: Senate passes Tesla bill

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LISTEN: Senate passes Tesla bill abbreviated version

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Right now, state law allows the 40 or so manufacturers that sell new cars in Ohio to do so through several hundred dealerships. Republican Sen. Tom Patton of Strongsville says his bill grants Tesla permission to keep selling its cars directly to customers at its stores in Columbus and Cincinnati. 

Patton says the deal includes a store in Cleveland, “Senate Bill 260 will also allow Tesla to receive a third license to sell directly from the manufacturer. It was never the intention of this bill to shut down any company’s operations in the state of Ohio.”

Democrat Tom Sawyer of Akron supported the bill, but noted the disparate views that had been expressed on the bill and the legal challenge the auto dealers filed to stop Tesla.

“The kinds of struggles that we have seen below the surface of the water leading up to today’s votes are not unusual and have happened all across the United States “

There are 37 Tesla dealerships around the country. Tesla sales aren’t allowed in three states and are permitted in four others – in 14 states, Tesla’s sales model is in dispute. This compromise bill was supported by both the auto dealers and Tesla. The bill passed unanimously and now goes to the House.
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