Four states that some argue are stifling innovation by preventing Tesla Motors from selling electric cars directly to consumers are in the running to win the inaugural Luddite Award from a Washington, D.C., think tank. (A Luddite is a person opposed to new technology, modern day definition) Over the last few years, Arizona, Michigan, New Jersey and Texas have all caved to pressure from car dealership associations to enforce decades-old regulations banning the direct sale of cars by a manufacturer. Designed to protect local businesses from Detroit’s auto behemoths, those laws were clearly not written to stifle new car startups. Tesla sells only a small number of its luxury electric vehicles each year. For their narrow view, the nonprofit Information Technology & Innovation Foundation has nominated the four states for its first Luddite Award. Other nominees include the National Rifle Association for opposing smart guns, New York state for cracking down on lodging site Airbnb, and media pundits who claimed “robots” would kill jobs. A winner will be announced on Feb. 5.
Photo Credit: John Vlahakis