This morning, the Michigan House Government Operations Committee approved HB 6233. This bill, filed just eight days ago, would undercut a recent federal court settlement allowing electric vehicle manufacturers to sell directly to consumers in Michigan and instead shoehorn all (except Tesla) into Michigan’s archaic vehicle dealership regulatory structure. The bill could come to the House floor as early as this afternoon.

Late yesterday, the Mackinac Center joined a broad coalition of businesses, trade associations, and environmental organizations in signing a letter urging legislators to vote no when it comes to the floor. Quoting from the letter:

“HB 6233 will have a strong chilling effect on the plans of new EV manufacturers to invest or expand in the state. The bill would also constrain the Michigan auto market further in several ways. It would prevent fair competition between new EV manufacturers and the traditional auto manufacturers. It would limit consumer choice in Michigan and add more unnecessary hassle to the car buying experience. It would also stifle innovation by blocking direct sales and service interactions between EV manufacturer and customer that are necessary to push out over-the-air updates. The simple and strong message HB 6233 would send to all manufacturers is that Michigan does not want or welcome new transportation technology investment. Succeeding in the global marketplace means investing in advanced, clean technologies that keep American industries and American workers globally competitive. The rest of the world is moving ahead. If we create bad policy that scares off investment, Michigan jobs will be shipped out of state and overseas.”

The full letter is posted here.

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Should legislators feel compelled to address the regulatory inconsistencies between different types of vehicle manufacturers, it should instead adopt the approach introduced yesterday by Rep. Steven Johnson. His HB 6259 would eliminate the dealership requirement in state law and allow consumers and manufacturers to conduct transactions in the manner that makes most sense to them.

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