New Jersey Bill Approved To Let Tesla Sell Direct

New Jersey’s assembly approved a bill yesterday to allow Tesla to sell factory direct, but the battle for Tesla is not over.

The next step is for the bill to be voted on by the N.J. senate and signed by Gov. Chris Christie.

While the bill was crafted as a retort against the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission’s Mar. 11 vote to reinforce existing laws that shut Tesla out, its wording is open to zero emission vehicle makers, with Tesla being the obvious candidate.

Under the proposed legislation any ZEV maker licensed by the NJMVC on or before Jan. 1, 2014 may sell factory direct.

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Democrats control both chambers, and Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald made it clear the move was a politically motivated one in the state’s tug-of-war over the Tesla question.

“Tesla is an innovative company that has produced a top-rated, environmentally conscious product,” said Greenwald in a statement. “Their commitment to innovation, job-creation and customer satisfaction is precisely the kind of entrepreneurial spirit we should be encouraging in New Jersey. Unfortunately, the Motor Vehicle Commission’s decision threatened to hamstring those efforts.”

Gov. Christie sided with the previous NJMVC decision to uphold laws on the books, and has said if the state’s direct sales ban is to be revoked, it must be done by new legislation.