Tesla Teams Up with Oneida Indian Nation in New York

Tesla has unveiled plans to establish a sales and delivery center with service facilities and expanded charging stations in Madison County, adjacent to the New York State Thruway. This ambitious move marks the automaker’s first foray into New York State beyond the NYC area.

The proposed 25,000-square-foot showroom will be located on a plot owned by the Oneida Indian Nation, opposite the International Boxing Hall of Fame near Thruway Exit 34 at Canastota. Tesla aims to open this facility in 2025, reports Syracuse.

However, Tesla’s presence in the area will be felt sooner. Starting next week, the automaker will begin delivering pre-ordered electric vehicles at Turning Stone Resort Casino, owned by the Oneidas, off Thruway Exit 33 in Verona. Delivery processing and registration will be handled in Tesla offices at Turning Stone, with vehicle collection available in the casino’s parking garage.

This collaboration with the Oneidas sets the stage for Tesla’s Upstate New York expansion, a notable step given Tesla’s preference to directly sell to consumers, bypassing third-party dealerships.

“This 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,” stated Rohan Patel, Tesla’s vice president for public policy and business development.

The Oneida Indian Nation expressed excitement over the venture, stating that it will “eliminate obstacles to electric vehicle (EV) ownership in Upstate New York.”

The location near Canastota was selected due to its convenient access to the Thruway, which sees an annual traffic of approximately 250 million vehicles. As part of the redevelopment, a Oneida Nation Enterprises-owned Savon gas station and convenience market currently on the site will be replaced with a nation-owned Maple View Market and retail plaza.

The agreement between Tesla and the Oneidas falls under the terms of a “settlement agreement” the nation reached with New York State in 2013. This has permitted them to engage in responsible land use and economic development initiatives without state interference.

Tesla will direct the state’s share of sales taxes on purchased vehicles to the Oneida Indian Nation, which will then fund its public safety, healthcare, education, and environmental conservation programs. County sales tax collections will be processed as usual, ensuring “no loss of tax revenue whatsoever to local communities,” as stated in the Oneida press release.

The Oneida Indian Nation plans to construct the Tesla showroom before leasing it back to the automaker. The project is expected to generate jobs for both nation members and local residents, although the total number of permanent positions is yet to be determined.

“We are also excited to work with the Nation to foster top local talent through Tesla’s workforce development programs,” said Patel, underscoring Tesla’s commitment to offering opportunities for full-time careers to Oneida Indian Nation members.