This Week in CT: As Connecticut pushes use of green electric cars, Tesla no longer the only game in town

This Week in Connecticut

(WTNH) – With gas prices rising and climate change posing an imminent threat to our planet, more people are switching to electric cars, made now by a variety of makers.

In Connecticut, you can buy one at a car dealership, but if you want a Tesla, you’ll have to go out of state. Manufacturers are not allowed to sell directly to customers in Connecticut. You must have a dealership and Tesla doesn’t want to do that.

Senate Bill 127 didn’t get a vote this year because of the busy agenda. It would have legalized manufacturer direct sales. As the state continues stressing a green feature, the bill is likely to come up again.

Tesla is the creation of billionaire Elon Musk, and he is being sued by a company in Connecticut that welcomes Musk and Tesla to our state, providing they play by Connecticut rules.

At a dealership in East Hartford, they’re celebrating 100 years in the business. The business was born after the flu epidemic, and one century later, it’s dealing with the COVID pandemic.

“This has been a tough year, car shortages, part shortages, when is it going to end? I hope soon,” said Jeffrey Hoffman.

Jeffrey Hoffman and his younger brother, Brad, run Hoffman Automotive. It has been a rough year, but they’ve seen worse.

“In New England and the state of Connecticut, we had significant downturn after stock market, real estate, market collapse in this area,” Hoffman said.

The Hoffmans are now facing another battle in court against Tesla. For years, Tesla has tried unsuccessfully to change Connecticut law to allow for their business model. Dealerships across the state have fought Musk at the Capitol and won.

Now, Tesla is trying to open a service center in East Hartford and the Hoffmans and others argue it is simply a way around the law.

“I could list seven or eight, top two and foremost, many of our dealerships are already in the electric models. The fairness doctrine, the state of Connecticut, there is a law that prohibits manufacturers from selling direct to customers. We believe it’s anti-customer. They are not following the law, it’s not a fair playing field,” Hoffman said.

In addition to Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, BMW, and others are all producing plug-in cars with more automakers joining the electric game.

So, what does the future hold? Brad said to look back at the 1960s show the ‘Jetsons.’

“I really believe I could be the crazy guy, head back to the future, I really see cars could be flying in the air and water, who knows,” Brad said.

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