Chris Christie signs law to allow Tesla direct sales in NJ

Electric Vehicles Could Now Be Sold At Three In-State Locations

  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, signed a measure Wednesday that will allow the sale of Tesla and other zero-emission cars in the state. The new law comes about a year after the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission issued regulations requiring cars to be sold through franchises and a lot of back and forth since then. Christie had 45 days to act on the bill but chose to sign it just two days after legislators sent it to him. There are currently three galleries (which will likely become stores) and a separate service center in New Jersey.

The Palo Alto, California-based company markets its vehicles directly to consumers, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk protested the New Jersey regulations last year. He said the company chose not to sell through franchises because most of their revenue comes from gasoline-powered cars leaving little incentive to sell electric vehicles. Tesla executive Diarmuid O'Connell said in a statement the company was pleased Christie enacted the law and the firm is "open for business."

The legislation also requires companies selling cars directly to consumers to maintain a service facility and to report sales figures to the state. Christie promised last year to sign legislation letting companies like Tesla sell directly in the state. On Wednesday, he took credit for fulfilling the promise.

"We're pleased that manufacturers like Tesla will now have the opportunity to establish direct sales operations for consumers in a manner lawfully in New Jersey," Christie said in a statement.

Democrats, who control the Legislature and sent the bill to Christie's desk on Monday, praised the development. Democratic Assemblyman Lou Greenwald called the new law a "win-win" for New Jersey residents.

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The AP contributed to this report.

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