UPDATE: Anti-Tesla Legislation Gets Passed in New Jersey Without Allowing Public Comment Until After the Fact


The Site of Tesla's Fight in New Jersey - Image Copyright InsideEVs - Tom Moloughney

The Site of Tesla’s Fight in New Jersey – Image Copyright InsideEVs – Tom Moloughney

It wasn’t Tesla’s day.

The anti-Tesla legislation in New Jersey was approved without allowing public comment, despite the fact that over 100 people showed up to protest the passage of this legislation that will ban Tesla sales in the state effective April 1, 2014.

Our man on the scene, Tom Moloughney, says it was a packed house in support of Tesla, but the approval came down without even hearing from those who wanted to make the case that Tesla’s direct sales approach is fine by them.

Moloughney tells us that they are now allowing comment for 3 minutes per individual, but the legislation has already been approved, so it’s a done deal for Tesla.

Why field comments after the fact?  Just to say they allowed the public to voice their opinions, though those opinions have no impact on the already passed legislation.

*UPDATE: Link to audio of comments here.

Tom (Left) Sports His Tesla Jacket For This One

Live Image Copyright InsideEVs – Tom Moloughney

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80 Comments on "UPDATE: Anti-Tesla Legislation Gets Passed in New Jersey Without Allowing Public Comment Until After the Fact"

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Wow. 🙁

We need to inform the NJ media about this story to ensure that it gets covered and exposed. Below is the “investigative tips” page for Channel 9′s nightly news-magazine program “Chasing New Jersey.” They cover only New Jersey news and usually provide much more in depth coverage then the typical nightly news sound bite. They also love stories about their controversial Governor and his antics. But beware, the webpage refreshes often, which erases you entire investigative tip and you have to rewrite it. I suggest that you cut and paste your tip.


NJ.com is the website for several New Jersey newspapers, but it don’t see a “news tip” page or how to contact them. Maybe someone else can figure out how to submit a new tip to that site.

Other local newspapers for submitting news tips include the NY Times, NY Post, & the NY Daily News.

I guess 14 people signed up to speak afterwards. I wonder what was said.

I just learned this was not “legislation” but rather, an executive decision. A move orchestrated by Christie via the Motor Vehicles Commission which he controls.

Now it makes more sense, since the Republican party is rapidly adding EVs to its Enemies List.

“On the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission with the three members of Christie’s cabinet are four gubernatorial appointees. The panel is led by non-voting Chairman Raymond Martinez, who was appointed by Christie, a Republican, in February 2010.”

Corrupt MFers.


White house petition on the new ruling

Whatever happened to that other Tesla petition that got the required signatures? Was there ever a response?

One step closer to Ukraine!

Corruption, USA style.
Was that legal?
Next the court house?

Given NJ’s size and it being surrounded by states that do allow direct sales, this is nothing but empty posturing by the local politicians.

Not so fast Assaf, the other shoe is about to drop in New York state!!!



Still, to really isolate would-be NJ Tesla customers from sales and support, they’ll have to take out Pennsylvania as well.

So much for government by the people and for the people.

So not proud of being a New Jersey resident today.
just another reason to leave this state, I will add to my list.

We are truly in a fight between oil interests and progressive change. The electrification of transportation isn’t going away…these guys in NJ, and the likes of Putin, are all on the wrong side of history…dinasours making last ditch efforts to survive before they get buried.

Completely shameless, while I always thought that us, Eastern Europeans are the best at having shamelessly corrupt politicians laughing in people’s faces, today is a sad reminder that this can happen also in the US. Politicians are basically acting like criminals when they know that they won’t lose any votes in their next election.

Bloomberg TV reported it almost immediately after the decision was made, did not elaborate on the public comments.

..but they’re good to be giving it air time.

Outrageous. I guess that’s what you can expect from a state where the governor blocks bridge lanes just to flex his political muscles.

Here’s a related CNN.com article, on the front page presently, though they don’t report that this legislation has passed:


Time to rename NJ, which happens to be my home state, Sopranostan.


No democracy is without it’s injustices. This appears to be another battle that needs to be fought hard in the annals of our history.

If women’s suffrage, or civil rights are any example, we have a fighting chance to see justice served if we are vocal, persistent and fight for what is right.

Clearly special interests run the day. Energy independence to Big Oil is running a pipeline of world-wrecking fracked oil from Canada into the U.S. and turning our near shore vistas into oil derricks aplenty. All in as a conservative independent, I’ll be watching people whom I could support, like Christie. If they self-destruct due to bridge scandals and debacles like this travesty – so much the better. I’d hate to support someone who is owned by the oil or auto industry.

I wonder if this will blow up like BridgeGate? Surely NJJ residents will be a little incensed about losing out on Telsa sales taxes and jobs. As Sven pointed out, at worst it only takes going across the border to buy, and for a once every 5-10 year event, for a major purchase, that won’t keep most Tesla drivers off the streets.

Actually that wasn’t me who said that. However, I did say that it’s rumored that the same type of anti-Tesla legislation will soon be passed in New York state. So there might not be any Tesla stores in New York either. 🙁


There is so much graft, corruption, collusion,
political thuggery, in the Ne Jersey statehouse as to be legendary, ranking right up there with Tammany Hall. For those concerned about the railroading of this bill through the legislature. Don’t be. Just say what New Jersey politicians say:
“Fo’get about it!”

This is totally unfair! Way to go NJ, I’m sad to say I live in this state, I wonder how much they where paid off by the dealerships. Example; Apple and countless other brand names can sell there own products from there own stores, yet tesla rattles the cage of the car industry and we gottaake law banning them. Feel sorry for the residents of my state, because when the Tesla Model E comes out, a lot of people will want to buy it, including myself, money will change hands out of this state and nj will lose out on revenue.

Tesla is winning: more media buzz, more sympaties, more customers.

What is the big problem? Just screw the American Company so that we can sell more gas powered Hondas. The future is never easy.

You would think after the Sandy disaster, NJ politicians would embrace electric vehicles. It does give me 1 more reason to buy a Model E when they are for sale. This will be a lot of Sales Tax that States might be turning down.

NJ does not charge Sales TAX on EV’s bought in the State. Perhaps this is their way of reducing that EV Tax incentive liability.


Do you have some math for that or did I miss the sarcasm?



BLIND GUY: “This will be a lot of Sales Tax that States might be turning down.”

NELSON: “NJ does not charge Sales TAX on EV’s bought in the State. . .”

Actually, you don’t pay the sales tax in the state where you buy the car; you pay the sales tax in the state where you register it.

So New Jersey residents would have to pay New Jersey sales tax on Teslas bought in New York if they register the Tesla in New Jersey, since their out-of-state EV purchase doesn’t qualify for New Jersey’s EV sales tax exemption. HOLY CRAP!!!


but some states dont charge sales tax on EVs

It’s a Catch 22 for prospective NJ Tesla buyers. NJ has no sales tax for EVs bought in NJ, but the new rule outlaws Tesla stores in NJ. If the NJ buyer buys his Tesla in NY, brings it back home to NJ and registers it in NJ, then the NJ buyer will have to pay NJ sales tax on his EV because he bought it outside NJ. Catch 22.

In other words, this new NJ rule not only prohibits Tesla from selling it’s cars in NJ, but it also means that if you live in NJ and try to circumvent the new rule by buying a Tesla in NY you will have to pay NJ sales tax on your $100,000 car. Previously, if you bought a Tesla in NJ you would pay no sales tax.

The 3 minute response should have been like this.
As we live in a democratic society, what do NJ residents need to do for this law to get repealed as quickly as it was enacted.



Well, that is sure going to improve New Jersey & Christie’s image.


next up: they ban registering Teslas that were brought in from out of state?

Anybody got any Tea?

Elections have consequences.

Do they?

New Jersey elects a Republican Governor and it passes a rule that outlaws Tesla’s direct sales business model.

New York elects a Democratic Governor and it’s about to pass a law that outlaws Tesla’s direct sales model.


Fees paid to lobbyists have consequences!!!


Let’s advance the story a little. Here is the official Gov Christie response: ——————— Christie administration spokesman Kevin Roberts sent a statement to Business Insider that claimed Tesla Motors is the one attempting to work outside normal legislative procedures in New Jersey. “Since Tesla first began operating in New Jersey one year ago, it was made clear that the company would need to engage the Legislature on a bill to establish their new direct-sales operations under New Jersey law. This administration does not find it appropriate to unilaterally change the way cars are sold in New Jersey without legislation and Tesla has been aware of this position since the beginning,” Roberts said. ——————– If I understand this correctly, the Democrat-legislature of the Democrat-state of New Jersey already has a Democrat-law disallowing the direct-sales model that Tesla wants. Somehow Christie was supposed to wave his magic Republican-wand (or something) so Tesla can ignore the Democrat-law. Not sure how that’s legal/possible, but I digress. Now Christie is saying that Tesla should have been working with the Democrat-legislature of his Democrat-state to fix the stupid Democrat-law. This would allow Christie to sign a new/smart law. Yet Christie is the bad guy. Something makes… Read more »

As far as I know, Tesla was staying within the guidelines of the law. Does not the Governor of NJ have the power of a Veto for new legislation?

This is NOT NEW LEGISLATION! It’s the end of a temporary waiver to an established law.

IMHO, governors and presidents should not be able to grant “waivers” to established laws. It gives them too much power, and it leads to crap-situations like this. To properly assign blame, we need more info. So let’s ask some questions..

What was the expected duration of Christie’s waiver? How much more time was Tesla asking for?

Has Tesla been working with the New Jersey legislature? What progress have they made? What’s holding it up?

And understand … I’m not defending Christie. I’m not a fan of him or any other BIG-GOV Republicans. But I dislike one-sided reporting more.

No, there was a lack of clarity in he rules and instead of deciding the franchising rules should be about unfair competition between manufacturer and franchisees they decided they were about protecting hated rent-seeking middlemen.

I grew up with Thatcherism, and Republicans just make me laugh when they claim to love free enterprise and competition. This week we’ve had Shelby saying government selected monopolies are good and Christie supports protectionism and government interference in markets.

Per the Tesla bog post today, Tesla has had a waiver in place which allowed them to operate their current stores. They had been working with the Governor’s office to maintain a waiver while Tesla worked through the legistlature to get the law changed to support their direct model. The governor’s office then unilaterally decided to push through the administrative rule change with 24 hrs notice to Tesla.


I still think Solar City should become a franchised auto dealer. What would stop that from happening? Then the auto dealers won’t be able to do anything.

That’s an awesome idea! Solar City as an auto dealer selling only 100% electric vehicles, bundle in an offer for solar panels for the renewable energy fuel too! Love it!

Space X will be the coolest dealership


That has occurred to me, as well. It would be pretty slick, though SolarCity currently only operates in about 14 or 15 states…

There are many laws on the books of States that are way over due to be changed to keep up with the changing times. When these laws were originally passed, they may have made more sense then. I think that Tesla has a valid reason why they don’t want to use the old Dealer franchise model. I don’t like how this law was passed and I am certainly in no mood for tea either.

That law made sense then and still makes sense today:
If a company grants franchises for its products, it should not be allowed to compete with them, because it would not be fair competition.

But Tesla granted no franchise, so the law simply does not apply to them.

The new law to ban direct sales of cars under ANY circumstances makes no sense not, and would not have made any sense years ago either.

If this keeps up, the free-market’s next organic attempt will be EV-only dealers.

I buy everything online.
Basically, it’s an appliance with 4 wheels.
I still don’t see the problem with a direct sales model. I prefer it.

The title of this whole thread is grossly incorrect. The errors continue in the body of the article, falsely claiming that legislation was passed today.

Legislation was not passed today banning direct sales of vehicles in NJ. That law was already on the books long before Tesla came along.

Tesla should follow the same rules as every other manufacturer. Why should Tesla be treated any differently?

If Tesla wants to change an established Law they should do it in the open and through the Legislature and not through back room deals with a governor.

So Tesla should be like sheep and do what every crappy car company does and sell through crappy (mod altered adjective) dealerships that no one likes? ya ok, you can leave now.

They should be able to sell their car however they want. Tesla is doing something different and the corrupted people want to stop them. Fuck new jersey and that fat ass senator.

A clever troll would know the difference between a senator and a governor.

You know very well that the old franchise dealer system does not promote the sale or support for clean alternative vehicles. It’s a well covered topic with clear reasoning to support their case, so feigning ignorance of why Tesla has fought so hard against being forced into archaic business practices that would lead to the demise of the company by limiting sales of their products, highlight what an anti-Tesla troll you really are.

You also groundlessly accuse Tesla Motors of backdoor dealings, yet ignore the fact that public discussion was not permitted until after the bill was passed. What planet do you live on???

I’m not sure what planet it lives on, but definitely under a bridge.

“You know very well that the old franchise dealer system does not promote the sale or support for clean alternative vehicles.”

The franchise system does not promote or demote the sale of any kind of powertrain. It only promotes fair competition by protecting companies which were granted franchises from unfair competition from the company who granted that franchise.

If Tesla Motors, regardless of powertrain, had granted franchises, they should not be allowed to sell cars.

But they never granted any franchises, so the whole issue has nothing to do with them.

A new law was passed, proposal PRN 2013-138.

You are only trying to defend this action because you are blindly anti-Tesla. If it was something you approved of, or you were even objectively-minded, you would see the obvious BS-move this is.

If you’re saying I’m anti-EV, you are incorrect … I own a Chevy Volt and plan to purchase a Model-E.

I’m not sure how things work in NJ, but normally bills are passed by a LEGISLATURE, then they are either signed into law or vetoed by a GOVERNOR. In this case, it’s not clear who to blame because we’re not getting the full story.

If I were Elon, I would direct my lawyers to spin-up a non profit shill-company to operate my dealerships in BIG-GOV liberal states like New Jersey. Problem solved.

That might work. It really depends on the wording of the Dealer franchise laws and who qualifies as a Dealer and what are the obligations to the manufacturer. I like consumer protection but this old law needs updating. Most Dealers haven’t a clue how to sell or service an EV properly and this is what I think Tesla is trying to avoid in order to be successful.

My response was to CherylG

Over time, laws change when the world changes.

This law needs to change because it doesn’t fit in today’s world anymore.

But I tiny special interest group is buying the government to keep the gravy train rolling.

new jersey is a shit state anyway. oh well, their loss.

Now, Elon should open up a dealership network in all the states that sell plugin cars only.

Maybe a newer and improved dealership.

Elon can just sit on the new company’s board and work with all EVs…

I’m a Republican, but I may vote Democrat next time because I’m fed up with the blatant Republican bias against EVs – Texas and Ohio are no different.

You don’t have to be a tree-hugger to enjoy the benefits of EVs; my Leaf is a fine car that’s cheap to operate.

It’s sad that a state legislature can be bought by the thug dealers, and then target a law against one manufacturer who could bring jobs and revenue to their state. I hope this vote receives some sort of judicial review.

Remember NJ residents, This is for your own good. The government works for you, not against you.

We all know money talks. I would recommend boycotting the NJ Shore this summer but that would hurt business owners more than the State. Perhaps avoiding NJ toll roads and causing traffic jams on non-toll roads. Oh wait that’s Christie’s tactic. (Bridgegate anyone?)


Someone in a friendly state needs to organize some sort of mail drop system that NJ residents can use to register their cars in another state, then keep a tally of tax/registration money lost to the state of NJ

This is one of those things we will look back upon with shame as a nation. One of the greatest recent true American success stories being bantered by fat, corrupted and old politicians still strategizing for the previous century.

Regardless Tesla will progress and Christie just sealed his history (or the lack of it) as a true statesmen. He will be forgotten together with the rest of the gasoline fanatics.

Future has arrived. Sorry guys.

An old saying that goes back to my great grandfather…
“Jersey Justice”