If a new state legislature bill becomes law, Oklahomans may soon have to go out of state to buy and service their Teslas.
A new bill has been passed in the region that bans automakers from selling cars and services directly to consumers. The bill was passed at a House committee unanimously this week.
If the bill passes through the entire state legislature, it could “force Tesla to close its existing locations in Oklahoma AND prevent Tesla from shipping cars to anyone in the state,” the company complained in February. The company also asked the people of Oklahoma to reach out to their representatives.
It is believed that this bill is part of a much greater anti-EV push in the US, aimed at protecting the country’s existing automotive industry from emerging powers like Tesla.
Even though Oklahoma lobbied to get Tesla to build one of its Gigafactories in Tulsa back in 2020, Tesla sees the bill as a way for lawmakers to punish “EV manufacturers like Tesla,” according to its February campaign.
The bill is understood to be a part of a bigger agenda with other states including Mississippi and West Virginia passing similar bills targeting electric car manufacturers.
Many of these efforts are symbolic rejections of the Biden administration’s green energy plan, which is set to provide tax incentives to EV manufacturers and fund the construction of EV charging centers across the nation.
State legislatures are much more vulnerable to this kind of piecemeal lobbying and, as such, are clearly better poised to take up the mantle on behalf of old-school automakers.
If the new bill in Oklahoma becomes law, it can cause a lot of problems, even as the federal government aims to provide incentives for the manufacturing of EVs.