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February 11, 2020

Tesla opens Milford leasing center

PHOTO | Contributed

You still can’t buy a Tesla in Connecticut, but now you can at least lease one.

The electric vehicle maker officially opened its Tesla Milford Gallery leasing center at 881 Boston Post Road in Milford Tuesday morning. The facility, which nominally opened its doors six years ago, cannot sell the shiny new Teslas in its showroom due to a state law that prohibits manufacturers from selling vehicles direct to consumers.

The law was intended to protect franchise dealerships from being undercut by the automakers.

The Tesla leasing program will help Connecticut move closer to achieving Gov. Ned Lamont’s stated goal of deploying 500,000 electric vehicles on Connecticut rodas by 2030.

Architect/developer Bruce Becker of Westport emceed the festivities. When he’s not busy designing and building green buildings such as 360 State St. in New Haven, Becker is president of the Electric Vehicle Club of Connecticut.

Becker acquired his first electric vehicle, a BMW, in 2012, before buying a Tesla Model S in 2015. To accomplish that feat he had to travel to Mt. Kisco, N.Y.

Now, EV lovers can lease a Tesla for as little as $299 per month — “less than a Honda Accord when you factor in the cost of ownership,” said Becker. “Now EV lovers in Connecticut don’t have to travel to Westchester County [N.Y], Massachusetts or Rhode Island to get their hands on a Tesla,” Becker added.

Of the 11,000 EVs on Connecticut roads today, said Becker, a majority are Teslas.

“Year after year, Tesla sells more electric vehicles by far than any other carmaker,” said Becker. “It’s time for Connecticut to make it easier for consumers to purchase, not just lease, clean-driving cars, including by opening our doors to electric vehicle manufacturers like Tesla who sell directly to consumers.

“It’s legal to sell Teslas in New York and Massachusetts and so many other states,” Becker added. “It’s time for the state legislature to follow Gov. Lamont’s lead and support this great opportunity to achieve our goals.”

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