A day after the New Jersey State Senate passed a pro-Tesla bill that would allow the electric automaker to sell its cars directly to consumers, Chris Christie put his pen to ink and signed the bill into law. It’s been almost a year to the day since Tesla had to stop selling its green vehicles in the Garden State, and it’s a big win for Elon Musk and electric vehicles.
“I said last year that if the Legislature changed the law, I would sign new legislation put on my desk and that is exactly what I’m doing today,” Christie said in a statement. “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 drew fire from both the political left and right for rescinding Tesla’s temporary dealership license, which had allowed it to sell its cars to customers for two years prior. Free-market fans derided the monopoly car dealers seemed to have over sales, and many liberals want to see electric vehicles sold, well, everywhere. Since the temporary ban, Tesla has not been able to sell its cars, or even discuss pricing at its several New Jersey showrooms. But now things are back to normal, and car dealers have been handed another big defeat.
But the war is far from over, and the next major battleground is Texas, where a bill to allow Tesla sales has already been drafted and introduced. The Lone Star State will be a much tougher nut to crack, though the momentum behind Musk and Tesla isn’t showing signs of slowing either. With New Jersey now on board, Tesla can focus on opening one of the largest car markets in America to its special brand of electric automobiles.