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Bill squeezing out Tesla passes NC Senate

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

A bill backed by auto dealers that effectively blocks California's Tesla from selling in North Carolina has passed the state Senate.
    

The electric car manufacturer says the bill that passed the Senate unanimously Monday effectively bars it from selling to state residents through its Internet-based model. The bill would require Tesla to go through the state's system of 7,000 franchised dealers by amending the definition of a dealer.

"Everyone talks about efficiencies in the economy.  What's more efficient than going to the manufacturer directly and purchasing anything you want?" Tesla owner Jerry Maccioli said. "You can do that with Amazon or Ebay or a variety of other online vendors.  Why not the automobile industry?"

The company recently announced its first quarterly profit and top marks from Consumer Reports.
    
North Carolina joins efforts from auto dealers in other states to force Tesla to play by the existing rules.
    
The company wants the state to carve out a narrow exception to dealer laws for zero-emission, all-electric vehicles.
    
The bill now heads to the House.

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