Donated car helps Bridgeport tech program

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BRIDGEPORT — As the black 2016 Nissan Murano zoomed into the Bullard Haven Technical High School automotive shop bay, some 64 prospective mechanics were there to welcome it.

“You going to hand me the keys?” Roxanne Amoit, head of the automotive department shouted over the claps and whistles.

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Op-ed: Tesla concept not good public policy

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As the one of the owners of Lexus of Greenwich I would like to address a number of points in Dan Haar’s column, “Barring Tesla stores in Connecticut hurts the state” (Friday).

Mr. Haar is correct that this is the fourth year Tesla has tried to convince Connecticut legislators they should pass legislation to allow Tesla to sell directly to consumers. However, he does not explain why in the past three years legislators realized this would not good public policy for Connecticut:

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Thomas D’Addario: Tesla direct sales not such a bargain

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I am responding to Dan Haar’s column, “Past time to let Tesla into state,” Conn. Post, Feb. 15, 2018)

I am writing on behalf of my dealership in Shelton, D’Addario Auto Group, a third-generation dealership. We have about 100 employees. We also donate to nonprofit organizations such as the Children’s Medical Center, and other numerous organizations, through donations and family funds.

Connecticut is not the only state to not allow the direct sales model Tesla wants. In fact, thirty of fifty states do not have Tesla stores operating legally within their borders, and almost all fifty states have strict limits on direct-sell stores to protect consumers.

The Connecticut Franchise Laws are the only protection afforded to us to protect dealers and consumers from unnecessary manufacturer regulations that when unopposed will increase the cost to our consumers.

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Puerto Rico Native Prepares To Hand-Deliver Goods Collected, Stored In Hartford

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Elliot Matos isn’t too proud to have forgotten the days, long ago, when relief workers handed him and his family a box of supplies to make life more bearable in their remote slice of Puerto Rico.

And next week, Matos will finally know what it feels like to be on the other end of those boxes.

Matos, the service manager at Hoffman Audi in East Hartford, is leading an expedition to the island of his birth on Nov. 4, when he and four of his colleagues will personally deliver donated supplies to victims of Hurricane Maria.

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Schaller Auto World puts people first

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Ask Art Schaller Jr. about recent business accomplishments, and his answer may surprise you.

"We had our highest attendance ever at the annual Christmas party," he said. It's clear that people are a priority at Schaller Auto World when it comes to clients and staff.

Marketing Director Joanne Pescosolido started out as a greeter at the company 29 years ago. She has worked in sales and finance and can even cover the IT department in a pinch.

"We all help each other when needed," she said.

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As electric car sales accelerate, environmental advocates still worry

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In recent years, Hoffman Ford Lincoln general sales manager Billy Genereux has sold and leased from his East Hartford show room an increasing number of plug-in hybrid vehicles, which can run on both electricity and gasoline.

"We've been ordering a lot more the last couple years," said Genereux, noting that Ford C-Max and Fusion Energi have been the most popular brands with customers.

For every electric vehicle, or EV, Hoffman moves, the state pays the dealership $300. For buyers, the incentive is much higher — as much as $3,000 for a qualifying plug-in hybrid or battery electric vehicle, depending on the model, and $5,000 for a fuel-cell electric car. Combined with a federal rebate of as much as $7,500, buyers can reduce the cost of an EV significantly.

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Used car buyers urged to look out for flood-damaged vehicles

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - State officials and auto retailers alike are urging used car buyers to beware of flood-damaged vehicles.

Gov. Dannel Malloy, Attorney General George Jepsen, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, the state Department of Motor Vehicles and the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association asked people to do some research.

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Putnam FORD Uses New Financial Tool to Go Solar

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DARIEN, Conn., August 15, 2017 — Putnam Ford, a 20,000 sq ft automobile dealership and service center located just off interstate 395 will soon put its roof to work to generate approximately 95% of its total electrical needs. Such projects are not a new concept within the auto industry, but the method of finance deployed by owner Jake Dykeman is new and becoming available in a growing number of states.  The 108.8kW solar array has been financed by Greenworks Lending through a public private partnership called C-PACE, which stands for Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy.

The program provides private capital from lenders such as Greenworks for commercial building upgrades, retrofits, and new construction that improves energy performance. With C-PACE, repayment is made through the business’s property tax bill over the life of the upgrades, allowing most projects to be cash flow positive on day one.

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Congresswoman Esty discusses clean energy initiative at Crowley auto dealership in Plainville

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PLAINVILLE — U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty on Monday highlighted clean energy investments by Crowley Ford as part of the state’s Green Bank program.

“It’s been very exciting,” said Ken Crowley, of Crowley Auto Group.

In the past six years, the Connecticut Green Bank has financed more than 18,000 projects to help businesses lower energy costs and reduce their carbon footprints.

“There’s a lot of interest,” said Esty, during a visit to Crowley Ford.

Solar panels on the roof of the New Britain Avenue dealership were financed by the Green Bank’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) Program. Crowley said the solar panels are already paying for themselves with reduced energy costs.

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CARA Response

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I am writing in response to the July 7th Op-Ed titled, Connecticut Should be Tesla Country. Mr. Sibilla is wrong about numerous of his claims throughout the piece.

Tesla has worked relentlessly to undercut investments in Connecticut that over 270 franchised auto retailers have made in our communities, by changing state law to carve out an exemption for Tesla - a single company. The legislators agreed this law was unnecessary. Tesla could sell their vehicles at dealerships across Connecticut today; however they have made the choice not to and only want special treatment.

Mr. Sibilla claims that Connecticut needs to cut out the "middleman" in order to sell Electric Vehicles (EVs) and reach goals for clean air standards. Connecticut dealerships have sold more EVs in 2016 than any year before, 92% of all EVs last year. The Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association (CARA) continues to support Connecticut’s EV rebate program, CHEAPR in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

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Actually, Connecticut Should Remain Discount Country

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The first problem with Sibilla’s argument is, of course, that the referenced study has been thoroughly debunked. In fact, in February 2015, Washington Post Fact Checker Glenn Kessler described it as “bizarrely outdated” and gave it a maximum of Four Pinocchios for false claims.

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Tesla Bill Dies Again

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HARTFORD, CT — Another General Assembly session has come and gone and Connecticut consumers will still have to travel to Massachusetts or New York to purchase vehicles manufactured by Tesla.

That’s because legislation allowing Tesla to sell cars directly to consumers was never raised for debate. It made it through the Transportation and Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committees, but was never called for a vote in either chamber.

It’s the third year in a row that Tesla legislation has failed to get through the General Assembly.

“It’s such a complicated issue,” House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, said Wednesday.

Aresimowicz said he was reluctant to say that it was the objections of the state’s car dealers, who are subject to the regulations under the state’s motor vehicle franchise system, that killed the Tesla bill.

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