Maybe Tesla should build its proposed gigafactory in the Evergreen State. Last week, Washington Govermor Jay Inslee signed a bill that will allow Tesla to keep selling its electric vehicles through its showrooms and not have to work through third-party dealerships, Automotive News says. That means the California-based electric-vehicle maker can keep its showrooms in Seattle and Bellevue open.
Oddly, the bill appears to more-or-less grandfather Tesla into factory-to-customer legality, allowing Tesla to expand its number of showrooms while preventing any other automaker who didn't have a state dealership license as of January 1, 2014, to do the same. The news isn't exactly stunning, given the state's largely pro-green attitude and progressive approach to plug-in vehicle technology. A fast-charging-station network has been built along Interstate 5 in both Washington and Oregon, and, as of late 2013, Washington's I-5 stations were getting used about twice as much as they were in 2012.
Still, the bill represents a substantial victory for Tesla, whose representatives didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from AutoblogGreen. Last month, New Jersey said Tesla would have to close its two factory-owned stores in the state. Tesla lost a similar battle in Texas last year, while the company has made some headway in states like Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina and Ohio. Last year, Tesla chief Elon Musk went as far as saying he'd go to the federal government to try to overturn such laws, but that avenue of attack has not yet been attempted.