Tesla says new law will prohibit direct sales in Louisiana
BATON ROUGE - Electric car company Tesla says it will be unable to sell cars in Louisiana, under a bill Gov. John Bel Edwards has signed into law.
Tesla enthusiasts had urged the Democratic governor to veto the legislation, but it was on a list of signed measures released by Edwards' office Tuesday.
The electric car brand is sold through a direct-to-customer model, rather than the franchise dealership relationships other auto manufacturers use. The bill strips language in law that allows limited exemptions to a Louisiana ban on manufacturer-to-consumer sales.
Tesla claims the new language, added into a bill dealing with another vehicle issue, is an effort by auto dealers to limit competition. The Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association says existing law already prohibited Tesla from operating without dealers.