Unfortunately we have a bit of bad news for Tesla Motors today as New Jersey joins a handful of states in the U.S. that are barring Tesla’s direct-sales model, making it illegal for Tesla to sell its vehicles directly to consumers. A new proposal will now make it impossible for Tesla to sell its electric vehicles in the state, which Tesla says is “an affront to the very concept of a free market.”
The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission has responded to a request by the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers to tighten its regulations, which means that Tesla would only be able to sell its vehicles through a franchise. Up until now, Tesla had been pushing for the issue to be debated before the state legislature, since Tesla first started selling cars in New Jersey just over a year ago.
Tesla maintains that it is necessary to introduce their own vehicles to the market because electric cars are still relatively new technology and it is important that consumers are properly educated about the benefits of going electric. In response to the proposal that will block Tesla’s sales in New Jersey starting on April 1, 2014, Tesla criticized Governor Christie’s administration for pushing the legislation through at the last minute.
Governor Christie’s administration responded by stating that it does not find it appropriate to change the way that cars are sold in New Jersey without legislation and continues that Tesla was aware of the administration’s position from the beginning. New Jersey joins Arizona, Texas, Colorado and Virginia, all of which have similar bans on Tesla’s direct sales approach.