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Bill would let Tesla electric car company expand in NY

The inside of a Tesla vehicle in  a

The inside of a Tesla vehicle in  a Tesla showroom and service center in Red Hook, Brooklyn, on July 5, 2016.  Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

ALBANY — A new state legislative proposal would allow Tesla to triple the number of its electric-car sales locations state wide while building the lucrative Long Island market, a company spokesman said Monday.

Tesla said Long Island has provided a large market where consumers have adapted quickly to the electric vehicles.

The company has met the current state cap of five sales facilities. On Long Island it has a store in the Americana Manhasset shopping center for ordering cars, a gallery at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station for viewing vehicles and a Syosset service center. Tesla also has a store in Manhattan and two in Westchester County.

The bill, sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Mor elle (D-Rochester), would lift the cap to 15 sales stores. If it is approved, Tesla said it will expand service facilities and charging stations statewide. Sen. George Amedore (R-Rotterdam), a veteran in the Senate majority, is expected to introduce and co-sponsor the bill this week.

At Tesla’s five sales locations cars can be test-driven and purchased directly from the manufacturer without the added cost of dealerships. In addition, Tesla has several service facilities and charging stations on Long Island and elsewhere.

The proposed legislation was strongly opposed by dealers of other car brands, who feared they couldn’t compete with the electric-car franchise. Dealers also said raising the cap could cost jobs, although Tesla said it has not caused job losses at traditional car dealerships.

“It was unnatural constraining our ability to grow,” Diarmuid O’Connell, Tesla’s vice president of business development, said of the state law. “That’s what we’re trying to lift.”

“We plan to invest further in all infrastructure on Long Island and in Westchester as well,” O’Connell said.

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