Tesla Wins Back The Right To Sell Direct To Consumers In New Jersey

Electric car company Tesla can now once again sell cars direct to consumers in New Jersey (via Engadget), after a ban earlier this year based on an old (and mostly irrelevant in this case) law enabled Governor Chris Christie to bow to pressure from local auto dealers to get sales of Elon Musk’s┬ámagical future cars put on hold.

A new bill passed by the New Jersey Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee unanimously allows Tesla to start selling cars through its two existing dealers in New Jersey, and gives them permission to open up to two more. The bill applies to all zero-emission vehicle makers, giving them the right to open up to four showrooms in New Jersey.

New Jersey had become the third state to ban the direct-sales model, following Arizona and Texas. The ban prompted Tesla to respond with an angry blog post accusing Christie of expediting the process and ignoring a previous promise to settle the matter through due process in the legislature. Tesla CEO Elon Musk later took to his blog to officially oppose the ban and discuss the company’s possible legal options in having the ban overturned.

The bill is good news, but that four-dealership limit might be the next part up for scrutiny or opposition, especially if Tesla or other zero emission vehicles become more affordable and/or more popular with consumers than they are now.