Tesla makes renewed push to sell cars in Connecticut

FILE - This  Friday, July 20, 2012, file photo, shows the Tesla showroom at the Washington Square Mall, in Portland, Ore. Tesla Motors said Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, that it has agreed to buy German engineering company Grohmann Engineering to help automate its electric car manufacturing. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
A Tesla showroom in Portland, Oregon. –Rick Bowmer / AP

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Electric car-maker Tesla Motors is making another push to sell its vehicles directly to Connecticut consumers.

The General Assembly’s Transportation Committee is considering a bill this session that would allow the Department of Motor Vehicles commissioner to issue new or used car dealer’s licenses to electric vehicle manufacturers without a franchise agreement in the state.

Tesla has been lobbying for several years to open retail outlets in Connecticut. State law currently prevents a vehicle manufacturer from also being a retailer.

This year’s bill does not place specific limits on how many locations Tesla might open. Jonathan Chang, the company’s deputy general counsel, told lawmakers Wednesday those decisions will be market-driven.

The Connecticut Automotive Retail Association has opposed Tesla’s efforts, saying the company should participate in the existing franchise system.