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A man looks around Tesla Motors A man looks around Tesla Motors' Model S P85 at its showroom in Beijing January 29, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon  

Ohio might be the next state to restrict Tesla sales

Laws limiting the sale of Tesla electric vehicles might proliferate throughout the country.

On Tuesday, the state of New Jersey passed legislation banning the direct sale of the vehicles in the state. Now, the state of Ohio may be the next state in the Union to tell Elon Musk that he must follow the same rules demanded of competing auto dealers, reports the Columbus Dispatch.

Although lawmakers have not scheduled a date to vote on the measure, the Ohio legislature has a bill pending that would also restrict the direct sale of Musk’s electric vehicles.

Tesla, unlike most automobile companies, does not sell its vehicles through independent dealers. The Tesla vending model is similar to Apple, which sells its merchandise in its own stores.

Company officials met with Ohio Automobile Dealers Association and state legislators on Tuesday to discuss the proposed legislation.

Tim Doran, president of the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association, told the Ohio Dispatch between Tesla and involved parties in Ohio was polite, but unfruitful.

“It was a cordial meeting,” he said. But “I don’t think that anything new developed.”

Diarmuid O’Connell, Tesla’s vice president for business development, told the Dispatch that he appreciated lawmakers’ willingness to meet with him, but was concerned about the future of the company in the state because lawmakers had not budged from their position.

O’Connell indicated that Tesla is willing to be flexible in negotiations.

“I think we’ve acknowledged a really fundamental willingness to engage on this,” he said.

Tesla already has two stores in operation in Ohio — one in Easton and one in Cincinnati — but if Senate Bill 260 in Ohio passes, it would effectively halt the expansion of the automaker in the state.

State lawmakers have reported feeling torn about the issue, not wanting to hinder the success of a growing business, but are also opposed to giving the Silicon Valley-based automaker special treatment.

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