Elon Musk and Tesla seek East Coast domination with new mid-priced electric car model

Posted On Tue, July 25, 2017 By

Posted On Tue, July 25, 2017 By In Policy, Transportation

Tesla’s Red Hook sales and service shop. Image via Tesla

Just a few days ago, Elon Musk received “verbal approval” for his Hyperloop One, a high-speed tube that will take passengers from NYC to D.C. in just 29 minutes. Adding to his East Coast and New York takeover, Musk’s Silicon Valley-based company Tesla will release its first mid-priced electric car, the Model 3, later this month for the moderate price of $35,000. But because New York law requires cars to be sold to consumers by dealerships and not manufacturers, Tesla hopes proposed legislation aimed at changing that law will expand their sales dramatically throughout the state, according to Crain’s.

tesla model, elon musk, tesla model 3Tesla’s Model 3. Image via Tesla 

Before its official release on July 28, the Model 3 received close to 400,000 orders. Instead of previous models that sold for between $70,000 and $80,000, this newest release sells for just $35,000. However, Tesla fears the company may fall short of their potential in New York because of the aforementioned law.

Tesla, which sells its own cars directly, has five state stores in New York that were permitted only after a compromise was made by lawmakers in 2014. This includes a downtown outlet in Chelsea, which will soon move to the Meatpacking District, and a sales and service shop in Red Hook. The company’s vice president of business development, Diarmuid O’Connell, said the company’s success depends on how well they can penetrate the market. “We sell fewer vehicles in New York than we could or should sell because of this unnatural cap. There’s a huge appetite for this technology in New York.”

tesla model, elon musk, tesla model 3Tesla’s Model 3. Image via Tesla 

Things are looking up for Tesla with a bill introduced by Assemblyman Joseph Morelle, who represents Rochester, that allows makers of zero-emissions cars to open 20 sales and service outlets if five of them are upstate. The legislation was introduced in the Senate before the legislative session ended in late June. It would require Tesla to give free charging stations to local hotels or restaurants if they agreed to offer up a parking spot and pay for the electricity owners use to charge their cars.

The next chance Tesla has to expand its market will come in January when the session begins again. Roughly 6,000 Tesla owners live in New York currently, but with the reasonably priced Model 3 coming out, that number will surely rise, with or without the legislation’s passage. Plus, the thousands of people who put the $1,000 deposit down for the electric car last year still do not know when they will actually get their vehicle.

[Via Crain’s]

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