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Georgia Senators Propose Rivian Direct-Sale Bill

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Feb. 2, 2022—Senators in Georgia have filed legislation that would allow EV startup Rivian to sell its vehicles directly to consumers without having to go through a dealership.

Senate Bill 398, co-sponsored by Republican Sens. Ben Watson and Burt Jones, would set up "a high-stakes battle between electric-vehicle companies and the politically powerful Georgia auto dealership lobby," according to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Rivian has lobbied for legislation in the state like Senate Bill 398 for years, and this isn't the first time a bill of this kind has made its way to the Legislature; a bill that would have allowed EV companies to conduct direct sales stalled in the House last year.

Tesla fought a similar battle in 2015 in the state, and although it eventually won the right to sell its own vehicles, it was limited to only five locations statewide.

The Georgia Automobile Dealers Association says allowing manufacturers to sell their own vehicles would cost dealership jobs and negatively impact the consumer, pointing to dealing with manufacturer recalls and performing local maintenance as two things that automakers wouldn't be able to account for.

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