ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Tesla, the high-buzz electric car-maker, is urging Missouri lawmakers not to ban its business model.

Tesla doesn’t use dealerships, instead opening its own stores with its own employees.

“The history of electric vehicles is a somewhat tortured one, and they’ve never succeeded in the dealer concept,” says Tesla vice president Diarmuid O’Connell.

Tesla has invested more than $2 million in sales and service facilities in St. Louis, and plans to do the same in Kansas City.

“The critique is that we’re mostly a coastal proposition, but that couldn’t be further from the truth,” O’Connell says. “We’ve got strong a strong market throughout the Midwest.”

A proposal in the state House would ban direct-to-consumer car sales.

O’Connell believes the car dealer lobby is behind it.

(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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)



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