Pa. legislature approves bill to allow in-state expansion of Tesla Motors

Lawmakers approved legislation last week that would allow the Palo Alto, Calif.-based electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors to expand its retail operations in Pennsylvania and add more service locations in the state.

The Pennsylvania House voted 197-2 to approve the bill, though it must still be signed by Governor Tom Corbett to become law, Bloomberg reports.

"We hope the process in Pennsylvania serves as an example for how productive cooperation can lead to a win for all parties involved, dealers and legislators included," Diarmuid O'Connell, Tesla's vice president for business development, said, according to Bloomberg.

Tesla has fought American auto dealer trade groups over its direct sales of electric cars. O'Connell said the deal is the result of cooperation with the Pennsylvania Automotive Association.

Passage of the legislation marks a win for the automaker, which has avoided selling the $71,000 electric Model S sedans through traditional dealerships, Bloomberg reports.

New Jersey's state legislature approved a bill in June that creates a loophole for the direct sale of zero-emission automobiles; New York has also signed a similar measure into law. The company has won exemptions in Ohio and Missouri.

Currently, Tesla operates a retail location in King of Prussia and service centers in Devon and Norristown, with an additional retail location planned in Devon, according to Bloomberg.