MADISON, Wis. — The Latest on a bill that would allow electric car manufacturer Tesla to establish dealerships in Wisconsin (all times local):

10:15 a.m.

One of the chief authors of a Republican bill that would allow electric car maker Tesla to establish Wisconsin dealerships is telling legislators that the government should encourage a free marketplace.

Wisconsin law prohibits automakers from operating or controlling a car dealership. The bill would grant an exemption for electric car manufacturers such as Tesla.

Sen. Chris Kapenga said during a public hearing before the Assembly and Senate transportation committees that many people are intrigued with Tesla vehicles because they don’t harm the environment and they’re fascinated with the engineering.

He says it doesn’t make sense to make Wisconsin residents go out-of-state to buy and service the vehicles. He says the state should allow a free marketplace where willing buyers can meet willing sellers.


8:45 a.m.

Legislators are set to take comments on a Republican bill that would allow electric car maker Tesla to sell its vehicles directly to Wisconsin customers through dealerships.

Wisconsin law prohibits automakers from operating or controlling a car dealership. The bill would grant an exemption for electric car manufacturers. The bill’s authors say traditional dealerships would still be protected from competition with gas-powered automakers.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Wisconsin Automobile and Truck Dealers Association have both registered in opposition. Tesla is the only organization to register in support.

Nearly two dozen other states have allowed Tesla to open its own stores to sell and service its vehicles.

The Assembly transportation committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the bill Tuesday.


The bill is AB 717.