Mississippi wants to force you to buy electric cars from franchised dealers

Riviain R1T

Mississippi sucks. And when I say Mississippi sucks, I’m not saying that as one of those “coastal elites” who’ve never visited the state. I say it as a North Carolina native, Georgia raised non-elite who grew up hating Mississippi and always will. Say what you will about Alabama, but at least they’re good at football. Mississippi can’t even claim that. And now the Mississippi State Legislature has passed yet another law confirming my aversion to the worst state in America, this time blocking direct sales of electric vehicles.

The associated press reports that the Mississippi state senate passed a bill on Thursday requiring electric car manufacturers who want a physical store in the state to follow franchise dealer laws. The bill now goes to Governor Tate Reeves’ desk for his signature. Currently, there is no indication that he will not sign it.

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The bill also reportedly caused a bit of a Republican infighting because they are supposed to be the party of a small government, and the new bill would interfere with the free market. There was also concern that the bill would prevent electric car makers from bringing jobs to the state. Legislators who supported the bill said they needed to make things fair for all automakers, and since they only have one joke, they naturally had to make the topic of auto regulation something transphobic.

“We say that if you choose to have a physical dealer, you have to follow the same laws that everyone else has to follow,” said Republican Senator Daniel Sparks. “Please don’t tell me Tesla’s car doesn’t identify as a car.”

Meanwhile, Republican Senator Joey Fillingane disagreed, saying, “Maybe we just like being last all the time. Maybe it’s a badge of honor – we’re the last to change. If we are not careful … we could deprive our citizens of opportunities that they really shouldn’t be deprived of.

To be fair to Mississippi, it’s not always the last of everything. Yes, the state’s percentage of residents living in poverty, as well as its health and education scores are the worst in the country, but its economy and quality of life rank only 49th in the country.

Fortunately, the bill would keep Tesla’s only store open, but if Rivian wanted to open a dealership in Mississippi, for example, it would have to find a franchised dealership to actually sell the cars, which is ridiculous. All it does is protect archaic franchise dealer laws that have no place in modern society. Obviously the dealers will support the bill, but who cares? Dealers can go kick rocks.

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