Clean Air / Legislative / Press Releases

Press release: Pass bill to allow direct sales of Electric Vehicles!

April 5, 2017

Laura McMillan, CFE, lmcmillan@ctenvironment.org, 203-787-0646 x137

Andrew Doba, Stuloeser & Co., andrew@stuloeser.com, 203-850-7400

Broad Coalition to Legislature: Pass bill to allow direct sales of Electric Vehicles

HARTFORD, CONN. – Members of the Connecticut Electric Vehicle Coalition and other environmental, consumer, and business organizations sent a letter to Connecticut state legislative leaders on Wednesday urging the General Assembly to pass House Bill 7097, “An Act Concerning the Licensing of New and Used Car Dealers.”

The bill would allow manufacturers of electric vehicles to sell directly to consumers in Connecticut, making it easier for consumers to do their part to reduce emissions from the transportation section and support innovative businesses. Connecticut is currently the only state in the Northeast that prohibits direct sales.

Thirty-two regional environmental organizations, developers, electric vehicle enthusiasts, and consumer advocates signed the letter, which highlights the environmental benefits of electric vehicles and the economic benefits of allowing direct sales in the state.

Below are statements from some of the signatories:

“To put it bluntly, Connecticut won’t meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets unless we get a lot more electric vehicles on the road,” said Claire Coleman, climate and energy attorney at Connecticut Fund for the Environment. “Electric vehicles help avoid the air pollution that hurts our kids’ health, and selling them directly can bring new jobs and tax revenue to the state. Connecticut should make it easier for consumers to purchase clean-driving cars by opening our doors to Tesla and other electric vehicle manufacturers. We ask the legislature to pass H.B. 7097 and help Connecticut transition to a healthier transportation future.”

“Connecticut’s economy has benefited greatly from welcoming innovative businesses into the state, bringing new jobs, new tax revenue, and local economic investment,” said Heather Burns, founder and chief executive officer of Connecticut Sustainable Business Council. “Now again we have a chance to attract a rapidly expanding new industry—electric vehicle manufacturers—and doing so will positively impact consumers, workers, and our communities. Pass H.B. 7097, as a reminder to innovative industries that we are open for business.”

Emily Lewis O’Brien, policy analyst with the Acadia Center, said, “Connecticut needs to get more electric vehicles on the road now to combat rising greenhouse gas emissions and meet climate and energy goals. This bill will help do just that by providing greater consumer access to electric vehicles, while also boosting local jobs and tax revenues.”

“A transition to vehicles capable of running on zero-carbon sources of energy—such as electric vehicles—is a prerequisite for eliminating carbon pollution from transportation by mid-century,” said Kate Cohen of ConnPIRG. “Carbon-intensive vehicles and fuels should be phased out. That’s why we should be encouraging electric vehicle adoption and removing barriers standing in the way, and this bill would ultimately give consumers greater access.”

Jeff Gross, chair of the Sierra Club’s Connecticut Chapter Electric Vehicle Committee, added, “By allowing direct electric vehicle sales, this bill will bring Connecticut up to parity with our neighboring states in terms of consumer choice and convenience in the growing market for electric cars. Sierra Club applauds the reduction in pollutants, as well as the synergy with renewable energy sources, that only electric vehicles can provide.”

The General Assembly’s Transportation Committee approved H.B. 7097 on March 17. The bill now awaits action in the House and the signatories will be pushing legislators between now and the end of session for passage of HB 7097.

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