PHOTO CAPTION: Leilani Munter helped lobby North Carolina legislators to stop anti-Tesla bill.

Tesla Scores A Win In Tar Heel State

Having a great product often isn't enough to win against entrenched financial interests, Tesla discovers in North Carolina.

Published: 01-Dec-2013

WASHINGTON Tesla Motors was in trouble in North Carolina. Prohibited from opening showrooms there, it was on the way to being unable to sell cars at all when the state Senate voted unanimously to block online auto sales.

Then Tesla turned out a lobbying weapon that, in the home state of stock-car racing’s hall of fame, spoke louder than money: It parked a Model S at the Capitol and invited lawmakers and Gov. Pat McCrory to take it for a spin.

“When you accelerate it, it was the same sort of feeling I got when I test-drove a Mustang Boss back when I was probably 23 years old,” Republican House Speaker Thomas Tillis, 53, told the (Raleigh) News & Observer.


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