Infrastructure & Environment

Christie Stops Direct Sales of Tesla Electric Cars

March 13, 2014

Two top state lawmakers say they were caught off guard Tuesday by Gov. Chris Christie’s administration’s sudden decision to stop allowing Tesla Motors to sell its electric cars directly to customers in New Jersey, and are considering a legislative remedy.

 
“From a policy perspective, we ought to be doing things to encourage the sale of electric vehicles in New Jersey,” said state Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), chairman of the Transportation Committee. ”It would strike me that regulations that would have the effect of having fewer electrical vehicles sold is not a long-term public policy in the interest of my constituents or the people of the State of New Jersey.”
 
With little notice Tuesday, the state Motor Vehicle Commission unanimously passed a new rule that requires franchised dealers to sell the cars, as opposed to a direct-to-customer model Tesla uses at two New Jersey retail locations.
 
Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts said Tesla should have gone through the Legislature.

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