Tesla launches car-leasing program in Milford
Tesla launched its leasing program in Milford Tuesday to get its cars to Connecticut drivers.
State law prohibits a manufacturer from selling its cars directly to the public, and instead insists on franchised dealers.
However, Tesla opened a service center in Milford six years ago with hopes of the law changing to allow the direct sale of cars to consumers.
While the state law still prevents Tesla from having a retail presence, the company is eligible to hold a leasing license.
"Having an ability to lease a car in the state is really critical to help with the necessary transition to electric transportation,” says Bruce Becker, president of the Electric Vehicle Club of Connecticut.
Tesla was joined by local politicians, environmental leaders and Tesla employees to officially launch the program at its Milford location.
"We are looking to be cleaner and greener, more energy efficient, trying to keep down our carbon footprint,” says Milford Mayor Ben Blake.
Connecticut's governor says the state must reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars significantly to meet future climate and air quality goals.
Vicki Hackett, the Deputy Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, says they are determined to make these improvements.
“To achieve that reduction, we have an ambitious goal, to deploy 500,000 electric vehicles in CT by 2030, and approximately 150,000 electric vehicles by 2025,” says Hackett.
The Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association has fought Tesla's attempts to sell cars.
In response to Tesla's leasing facility, it released a statement that said in part, "With over 270 dealerships here in Connecticut, we are focused on supporting our dealers and their businesses that drive Connecticut's economy."