JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) – Could the Missouri legislature deal a blow to St. Louis and Kansas City’s efforts to become centers of innovation?

Tesla Motors, the electric car-maker, says car dealership interests are trying to sneak through a ban on Tesla’s direct-to-consumer sales model.

“The sort of tactics that the dealers are employing here to basically change a couple of words and shut out this new technology in the 11th hour of the legislative session runs counter to everything we know about Missouri as a center for innovation,” says Tesla V.P. of Business Development Diarmuid O’Connell.

He calls the move “fundamentally counter to free market principles.”

“It’s ironic,” O’Connell says. “We’ve seen this in other states, and in most cases we’ve fought it off successfully.”

The bill in question passed the state Senate and is in the House.

Tesla already sells its high-end cars in St. Louis and has plans to expand to Kansas City.

Tesla was founded by the co-founder of Pay-Pal. Elon Musk is also the man behind Space-X, which got the NASA contract to blast off to the International Space Station.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)



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