Canastota, N.Y. — Tesla, the world’s largest maker of electric vehicles, plans to open a sales and delivery outlet with service and expanded charging locations just off the New York State Thruway in Madison County.
The 25,000-square-foot showroom is planned for a tract of Oneida Indian Nation-owned land across from the International Boxing Hall of Fame at Thruway Exit 34 near Canastota. It would be Tesla’s first direct sales outlet in the state outside the New York City area and is expected to open in 2025.
But you won’t have to wait that long to find Tesla nearby. Starting in a week or so, Tesla will offer delivery of pre-ordered electric vehicles at the Oneidas’ Turning Stone Resort Casino off Thruway Exit 33 in Verona. Tesla will maintain offices at Turning Stone for delivery processing and registration. Delivery will be available on the top floor of the casino’s parking garage. That will continue during construction of the new showroom.
The Tesla deal with the Oneidas provides a legal framework for the auto company to expand into Upstate New York. Tesla, whose CEO is billionaire Elon Musk, has always preferred to sell directly to consumers without going through third-party dealerships. But a New York state law that took effect in 2014 tightened up rules that require vehicle manufacturers to sell through dealerships.
Four existing Tesla direct sale showrooms were allowed to remain open at that time — two in Westchester County and one each in New York City and on Long Island. The closest to Central New York is in Mt. Kisco, Westchester County, more than 250 miles from Canastota. The new showroom will “eliminate obstacles to electric vehicle (EV) ownership in Upstate New York,” the Oneidas said in announcing the partnership.
“Tesla’s partnership with the Oneida Indian Nation is an opportunity to make electric vehicles and charging infrastructure more accessible to Nation Members and the residents of Upstate New York,” Rohan Patel, Tesla’s vice president for public policy and business development, said in a statement accompanying the Oneida news release.