Tesla is once again able to sell their luxury electric cars from showrooms in New Jersey, following the signing of a bill that allows manufacturers of zero-emissions vehicles to sell directly to customers in the Garden State. Last week, the NJ Senate Commerce Commission passed the measure, allowing the bill to go to vote on the Senate floor, where it passed 30-2. Yesterday, Governor Chris Christie signed the bill. This win is a long-time coming for the electric car maker. Tesla hasn’t released a public statement in response to the bill’s passing, but surely, CEO Elon Musk is thrilled that this impediment has been lifted.
The new law amends previously legislation, which banned the sales of motor vehicles outside of a traditional dealership. Since Tesla operates on a direct-sales model for their electric cars, selling from “showrooms” or “galleries” instead of dealerships, their sales operations were halted in New Jersey last year. Lawmakers have been working since on building new legislation that allows the New England state to keep up with the changing times, accepting that new car technologies may not be distributed and sold using the same model as their predecessors.
With this new law in place, Tesla and other makers of zero-emissions vehicles are permitted to operate up to four licensed locations within the state. Tesla already has three showrooms, which have been operating essentially as art museums since the sales ban went into effect last year. With the passing of the bill, New Jersey residents are now able to buy a sweet electric ride, not just look at one.
Another key requirement of the law is for zero-emissions vehicle manufacturers to operate at least one retail service location within the state’s borders, to ensure that car owners can have their vehicles maintained and repaired without sending dollars outside of the state. Tesla has such a service center at their Paramus, so the car company won’t have to delay sales while they get compliant with the new law. We’re betting the showrooms will be hopping today.
Via The Verge