New Jersey Assembly Passes Bill That Would Allow Sale Of Tesla Vehicles

Can you feel it? The slight wind that passes over the hands of Tesla CEO Elon Musk as he rubs his hands together in anticipation of a greater glee down the road? The automaker is one step closer to getting the stamp of approval to sell its cars in New Jersey, after a bill saying as much easily passed the state Assembly.

The bill was approved by the Consumer Affairs Committee of the Assembly last week, and went through the Assembly yesterday with nary a whimper or even a breath of discussion, with a 77-0 vote count (and one abstention), reports The Star-Ledger.

The bill will allow Tesla — or again, any other company selling zero-emission vehicles directly to consumers — to open a four stores in the state, doubling its current two showrooms. As part of the bill, Tesla will be required to have at least one facility to maintain the vehicles.

The state Motor Vehicle Commission had stopped sales of Tesla in April, based on a state law that had required cars to be sold through dealerships. Critics of that move had pointed out that the law was meant to protect small dealerships from national manufacturers taking over, and not to stifle innovation in the industry.

From here, the bill still has to get through the state Senate, where it’s fate is unclear. But one of the bill’s sponsors, Assemblyman Tim Eustace, is confident the bill will pas though he hasn’t gotten a commitment of support from Senate President Stephen Sweeney.

“Not yet, but we’re working on it,” Eustace said. “It’s a common sense bill. IT has bipartisan support. It brings jobs and revenues to the state. What’s to fight against?”

Bill to allow direct Tesla sales in NJ makes progress [The Star-Ledger]