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Tesla wins approval of Pa. Assembly

| Thursday, July 3, 2014, 10:30 p.m.

Tesla Motors Inc., which has battled American auto dealer groups over its direct sales of electric cars through company-owned stores, was approved by lawmakers in Pennsylvania to expand retail operations in the commonwealth.

The state House on Wednesday passed legislation, approved by the Senate last week, that lets the Palo Alto, Calif.-based carmaker increase the number of stores in Pennsylvania and add more service centers, the company said in an emailed statement.

The legislation, which allows as many as five stores in the state, must be signed by Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, to become law.

“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 in the statement.

Unlike previous fights, the Pennsylvania deal arose from cooperation with an industry group, the Pennsylvania Automotive Association, he said.

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