Tesla protests bills that would limit expansion

OLYMPIA — Tesla Motors enthusiasts drove their electric cars to Olympia on Monday to protest legislation they said would prevent the company from opening and operating additional facilities in Washington state.

Tesla lobbyist Daniel Witt told supporters at the Capitol that under legislation currently proposed, Tesla would not be able to expand beyond the two stores and service centers it operates in Seattle and Bellevue.

Language in House Bill 2524 and its companion Senate Bill 6272 says the Department of Licensing would no longer be able to issue additional facility licenses to Tesla because of its status as a vehicle manufacturer and not as a dealer. The company sells cars directly from the manufacturer to the consumer.

“We’re eager to see this language out of the bill,” he said.

Bill and Jean Hotchkiss of Vancouver, Wash., bought their Tesla Model S online in April 2013, a process Bill Hotchkiss called seamless.

Bill Hotchkiss said that they came to Olympia, in part, because, “it cost us nothing to get here.” The car currently sold by Tesla can go up to 265 miles on a single battery charge.

The Model S begins at about $70,000 but can top $100,000 with options. Washington state has the most Tesla Motors Inc. cars per capita in terms of sales, Witt said.

Both bills, which also clarify existing laws between car dealers and manufacturers, have passed through one committee and are in their respective Rules Committees.

More in Local News

Families begin relocating from public housing complex

Baker Heights is in need of repairs deemed to costly to make, and will be demolished and replaced.

Trail work by juvenile offenders builds resumes, confidence

Kayak Point trails were built out this year by groups from Denney Juvenile Justice Center.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Distress beacon leads rescuers to Pacific Crest Trail hikers

Two men in their 20s had encountered snow and waited two nights for a helicopter rescue.

Volunteers clean up homeless camp infested with garbage

The organization’s founder used to live and do drugs in the same woods.

Everett mayoral campaign is one of the priciest ever

Many campaign donors are giving to both Cassie Franklin and Judy Tuohy.

Arrests made in robbery-turned fatal Everett shooting

A man, 24, and woman, 18, were found at a hotel in Seattle.

Boeing marks the start of 777X production at Paine Field

It took tax breaks and union concessions to land assembly of the company’s new jetliner in Everett.

3 fire departments seek levies to support emergency services

District 25 in Oso is hoping to pass its first fire levy in 22 years.

Most Read