Tesla Closer to Opening 1st Dealership in Vermont


By Maria Merano, Teslarati
Oct. 27, 2022

The City Planning Commission of South Burlington, VT, recently approved zoning changes bringing a Tesla center closer to reality.

Tesla plans to refurbish a former Hannaford grocery store in South Burlington into its first dealership in Vermont. The former Hannaford property has been vacant for four years. Currently, the building is a Halloween store.

Earlier this year, Tesla requested the South Burlington Planning Commission rezone the property for its dealership. The commission supported Tesla’s request but suggested rezoning other sites along or near Shelburne Road.

According to South Burlington’s Planning and Zoning Director Paul Conner, Tesla now needs the city council’s approval for its dealership.

Before electric vehicles and startups like Tesla became a mainstay in the auto industry, Vermont did not permit vehicle manufacturers to operate dealerships. The state required automakers to work with dealership franchise holders.

However, as electric vehicle sales picked up in the state, Vermont’s take on direct sales appeared to change. In 2021, Vermont created an exemption for any “non-franchised zero-emission vehicle manufacturer that directly owns, operates and controls the warranty or service facility.” The legal exemption applies to EV automakers like Tesla, Rivian and Lucid.

In the first half of 2022, 1,175 new EVs were sold in Vermont. As of June, 7,500 EVs were on the state’s roads, making up 6.2% of sales, said David Roberts, Vermont’s Drive Electric program coordinator.

Tesla used to dominate Vermont’s EV sales. However, in the first half of 2022, Tesla sales slipped behind Toyota. Tesla recorded 210 new EV sales in the first six months of the year, while Toyota sold 228 in the same period, reported Seven Days.

Tesla will probably turn the former Hannaford grocery store into a multifunctional center for service, sales and deliveries. The center could boost Tesla’s sales in Vermont.

We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.

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