Michael Jacobs: Defending Tesla

May 22, 2013 

Taking on Tesla

Regarding the May 10 article “N.C. dealers move to block online Tesla sales in state”: During a lecture last year by the editor of the Wall Street Journal at UNC, Alan Murray was asked what made him bullish on America’s future. His response: Tesla Motors. He said that company showed that we still have the creativity and capacity to out-innovate the rest of the world.

The Wall Street Journal later stated that Tesla was the greatest innovation in the auto industry since Henry Ford and declared it the best car ever made in America. I put down my deposit, and eight months later my Tesla Model S arrived on a covered 18-wheeler to my front door.

So why would the N.C. Automobile Dealers Association try to prevent Tesla from selling cars in North Carolina? Because it didn’t get a bite from me despite the fact that it added no value to the transaction or ongoing service of the vehicle.

I wrote a check for nearly $3,000 in sales tax, something Republican Sen. Tom Apodaca, the bill’s sponsor, should cheer. Given our governor’s pragmatic approach to making economic decisions, I hope we can count on him to dispense of misguided legislation like this.

Michael Jacobs, Chapel Hill

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