Tesla Car Sales Direct from Manufacturer Will be Legal in New Jersey


Chris Christie for president***! The Jersey governor signs a bill into law reversing a dumb thing his state did last year via the fiat of its state Motor Vehicle Commission, as Ed Krayewski and Nick Gillespie discussed last year, banning direct sales of Tesla cars without using franchised dealerships.

Now, bam! Unbanned! The Verge reports today:

Almost exactly one year after it was banned from selling its cars directly in New Jersey, Tesla will be back in business in the Garden State. Governor Chris Christie signed into law a bill this afternoon that reversed last year's ban. The new legislation comes with some limits. Tesla can only open a total of four direct sale dealerships and has to operate at least one service center. But it's a major win following a heated war of words that saw Tesla CEO Elon Musk compare local dealers to a mafia protection racket subverting the democratic process.

New Jersey represented the fourth largest market for luxury automobiles — like Tesla's Model S, which can tip the scales past $100,000 — trailing only New York, Florida, and California. So it's a key win for the electric car company. Bans on direct sales have kept Tesla out of Virginia, Arizona, Texas, and Michigan. Legislators in some of those states are working on legislation similar to the reversal just passed by Christie.

Aggrieved local interests are still mad and speaking out against the manufacturer-direct-to-consumer model:

The New Jersey Coalition of Automobile Retailers sent along the following statement:

The factory-store model advocated by Tesla, on the other hand: Creates a vertical monopoly and eliminates competition. Limits consumer access to qualified, independent warranty and safety recall service offered by independently owned and operated neighborhood new car dealerships. Generates jobs, tax revenue and economic benefits in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street, but not here in New Jersey.

Previous Reason reporting on Tesla regulatory troubles in other states, including Michigan and Georgia

***Note: irony.

NEXT: Matt Welch to Talk About Scott Walker Firing Liz Mair Tonight on MSNBC's All In With Chris Hayes

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  1. Christie will be able to walk from the Atlantic to the Keystone State lit solely by his burning effigies. Or burning Tesla batteries.

  2. It’s a good thing they got goddamned permission this time! Imagine people just selling cars from wherever without the government giving them the thumbs up first. You know who wants to live in a world like that? goddamned anarchists, that’s who. Those same bastards that shot the arch duke.

  3. It’s funny to hear Elon Musk whining about people using the government to line their pockets.

    Becasue how much did he rip off from the California State Treasury with the scam that is Tesla motors? $100 million?

    So, Elon, if you are reading this…. enjoy your victory. Sometimes scumbags like you get victimized and people on principle cheer them being made whole. In New Jersey you were a victim. You were and are a victimizer in California. The former doesn’t in any way lessen the contempt I feel for you because of the latter.

    And when your car company crashes in a welter of shareholder lawsuits and bankrupcy hearings, I’ll be cheering the people calling for your worhless head

    1. In his defense, if he hadn’t taken it someone else would have. the problem is having a government that has it get scammed out of!

      1. Pretty sure that entire program was arranged at the pleasure of Mr. Musk; he pitched a quick-change and lobbied it be included as a ‘fast refueling’.
        And then, of course, did the shimmy around it.

        1. sorry, my point was that the CA gov’t is easily separated from it’s money.

          1. My point is that the CA gov’t is easily separated from other people’s money.


        2. No, the ZEV program was created by the fuel cell lobby. But as a cover up, they let BEVs in some of the lower credits. That provision of the ZEV credits was suppose to be unreachable for BEVs and it was carefully crafted as such. When Tesla a BEV met the provision, the fuel cell lobby had the rules tightened.

    2. Musk did not rip off a penny from the California Treasury. ZEV credits do not come from the treasury just an fyi.

  4. Also, Christie for President is like rain on your wedding day.

    1. not ironic at all?

      1. It’s like a fly in your chardonnay?

  5. I’m just not seeing a libertarian dog in this fight.
    Tesla simply would not exist without taxpayer funding; if they sold zero cars, I’d have more money in my pocket and some gov’t functionary might get fired before pulling the ripcord on that golden parachute.

    1. The libertarian dog is not having the government dictate how new cars are to be sold.

      1. “The libertarian dog is not having the government dictate how new cars are to be sold.”

        Musk isn’t selling cars; he’s selling gov’t ‘feel-good’ tax avoidance certificates with an automobile attached.

        1. I know about Musk’s situation. I’m a major gear head. The development is still a good one, the principle still applies regardless of Tesla’s “investment” history.

          Its a good thing that the gov is getting out of the business of telling people how they should organize the business of selling cars.

          1. So I’m seriously thinking of getting a Tesla Model S. They’re really pretty affordable when it comes down to it — not cheap by any means, but you can get a brand new one for $65-75 K, which puts them in the range of a lot of cars people buy — Mercedes, Lexus, BMW, etc.

            A friend got one a couple months ago and he never stops raving about it. He’s gotten me so I’m looking to maybe test drive in the next few days.

            My biggest concern is the charging. The standard home charger apparently gives you three miles of charge per hour. That means letting it charge all overnight still wouldn’t be enough to get me to work and back each day, which is just a 40 mile round trip.

            If you get a special charger installed in your home, you can double the charging rate, which still would only give you 72 miles or so over 12 hours. I don’t know where I’d put the charger as my wife’s abundance of crap has had our ‘2-car garage’ overflowing and with no cars inside for at least ten years.

            1. There are multiple charger options for the home.

              A standard 120v will charge 3 miles per hour yes. If you get a 240V at 40A charging station, that would charge about 30 miles per hour. If you get the Tesla twincharger(or any 80A 240V charger), that will charge about 60 miles per hour.

              A charger does not need to be in a garage, it can be outdoors.

      2. “Last year Tesla made a roughly $150 million killing from selling ZEV credits. That’s up from $130 million in 2013, $32 million in 2012, and $3 million in 2011. All told in 2014 Tesla sold about $216 million in credits,” the newspaper said.”…..rope-says/

        1. Ok so lets look at it perspective. In 2014, Tesla earned 3,198,356,000 in revenue. That is about 6.75% of revenue. Hardly significant considering Tesla has almost 2 billion in cash. With or without government, Tesla would have been fine.

          That said, your beef is with the CA government, not with Tesla who is capitalizing what is available to them.

    2. Tesla would exist just fine without taxpayer money unlike companies like Ford, GM and Chrysler. If they sold 0 cars, you would not see any extra penny in your pocket. Unless of course you are the government.

  6. “Chris Christie for president***! ”

    (Chambers round)

    “***Note: irony”

    Hmm… I did already chamber a round.

  7. The Chris Christie/Fwi-Song ticket! Anyone?

  8. About time. Regulating how new cars are sold was always ridiculous.

  9. Next Christie can get to work on letting drivers in New Jersey pump their own gasoline.

  10. So these things on those wheels might invade certain waves hanging around realities that indeed fly on space fuel. The greatest deepest bass of the greatest metal band makes the brain act like it has gods smashing about with suns for jet fuel and those rockets on that brain are set to escape into really deep dark atmospheres and so there it goes right into that crushing eclipse of a narrow canyoun lined with purples and constant lightnings and screaming voices the ground flashes like a fucking szipline to the moon and yet I can’t get there ..the flashing and winding is revealing a beautiful space of wondering space with a door way out there… I need to get to that door and it is surrounded by stars so I think I will go and not type on this keyboard becaus I am ready to trip into that door and my body is starting to not work… but my mind is getting clear and ribbon like and oh shit….like metallica on rainbows… by my sweet lovelies

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