Tesla showroom in Red Hook, Brooklyn (Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock)
I was shocked and dismayed to read your article entitled “Tesla’s Plan to Expand Sales May Face Resistance From Lobbyists” (NYLJ, June 12). Your piece noted that, in 2014, Tesla and auto dealers reached an agreement to allow the electric carmaker to keep their five company-owned stores in New York. Hmmm … I was under the impression that, in a free market, one does not need one’s competitors consent to expand a competing business. Your article then pointed out that Tesla has had to hire lobbyists in Albany to convince the (according to some, pay-to-play) New York State Legislature to grant Tesla permission to increase the number of sales locations from five to 20. That’s odd. I was under the impression that we didn’t have a state-controlled economy. Why is the government’s permission required to expand one’s legitimate (if not praiseworthy) business venture?
The situation appears to be one in which Tesla seeks to: (a) improve New York’s environment by reducing auto emissions; (b) improve New York’s economy by providing jobs; and (c) improve New York’s tax revenues via its sales. Before attempting to achieve these admirable goals, Tesla must hire lobbyists to convince the New York State Legislature to grant it permission to do so? Something’s terribly wrong here. Will there soon need to be a remake of the 2006 documentary film entitled “Who Killed The Electric Car?”
Alan J. Harris
The writer is an attorney in Pleasantville, NY