Sen. Bill Rabon, a Southport Republican, asked the House Transportation Committee to approve a new version of the franchise dealer regulations with the anti-Tesla provisions stripped out. They were offered in a rewrite of an unrelated bill.
“I would like to tell you the provisions included in (the amended bill) are only those provisions agreed to by all industry stakeholders,” Rabon said. “And secondly, the provisions from the other Senate bill that remain in controversy among the industry stakeholders are not included in this.”
Rabon and committee members avoided saying anything about Tesla or the concerns of the car dealers, a group with many friends in the legislature. After Rep. Nelson Dollar, a Cary Republican, sought Rabon’s assurance that “there’s no one opposed” to the new bill, the committee quickly approved it on a voice vote.
In response to a question after the meeting, Rabon confirmed that the anti-Tesla proposal was dead.
“No, we’re not going to bring that back,” Rabon said.
The action was applauded by a Tesla executive who attended the meeting.
“I think folks understood that this was an attack on the free market, that this would have precluded North Carolinians from having the freedom to choose the cars they wanted to purchase,” said James Chen, Tesla public policy director. “The House leadership understood that.”