Tesla Motors Needs Your Help – Today New Jersey Will Try to Approve Anti-Tesla Direct Sales Legislation


With only one day’s notice, Tesla Motors will have to fight against legislation in New Jersey today that seeks to ban direct sales from automakers.

Tesla Store

Tesla Store

“Since 2013, Tesla Motors has been working constructively with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) and members of Governor Christie’s administration to defend against the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers’ (NJ CAR) attacks on Tesla’s business model and the rights of New Jersey consumers. Until yesterday, we were under the impression that all parties were working in good faith.”

InsideEVs contributor Tom Moloughney (a New Jersey resident) is heading to Trenton later today in defense of Tesla, but we sense that Tesla Motors will need all the support it can get.

It obvious that this last-minute change of heart in New Jersey has one goal: to give Tesla no time to prepare it fight.

“Unfortunately, Monday we received news that Governor Christie’s administration has gone back on its word to delay a proposed anti-Tesla regulation so that the matter could be handled through a fair process in the Legislature. The Administration has decided to go outside the legislative process by expediting a rule proposal that would completely change the law in New Jersey. This new rule, if adopted, would curtail Tesla’s sales operations and jeopardize our existing retail licenses in the state. Having previously issued two dealer licenses to Tesla, this regulation would be a complete reversal to the long standing position of NJMVC on Tesla’s stores. Indeed, the Administration and the NJMVC are thwarting the Legislature and going beyond their authority to implement the state’s laws at the behest of a special interest group looking to protect its monopoly at the expense of New Jersey consumers. This is an affront to the very concept of a free market.”

“Proposal PRN 2013-138 seeks to impose stringent licensing rules that would, among other things, require all new motor vehicles to be sold through middlemen and block Tesla’s direct sales model. This move comes in spite of discussions with the Governor’s departing Chief Counsel Charlie McKenna and incoming Chief Counsel Chris Porrino as recently as January, when it was agreed that Tesla and NJ CAR would address their issues in a more public forum: the New Jersey Legislature. Instead, rather than engage in an open debate on such a significant policy issue, the Administration has expedited the implementation of a new law that the Commission intends to stealthily approve at a meeting in Trenton today at 2:00 PM EDT.”

That’s backhanded politics for you.



Tesla continues its statement:

“We are disappointed in the actions of the NJMVC and the Christie Administration, which come on the heels of more than nine months of unexplained delays in the issuing of a new sales license for Tesla, despite our numerous requests, calls, and letters. In addition, the NJMVC has also delayed the annual renewal of Tesla’s current dealer licenses without indication of the cause of the delay. The delays have handicapped Tesla in New Jersey, where, without clear licensing procedures and fair enforcement of existing law, we have been forced to delay our growth plans. This is an issue that affects not just Tesla customers, but also New Jersey citizens at large, because Tesla would be unable to create new jobs or participate in New Jersey’s economic revival.”

“At the same time, neither Tesla nor the taxpayers of New Jersey have been able to participate in any of the analysis or proposed rulemaking. Despite being the subject of the regulation, we were only able to obtain information about today’s meeting since we became aware of the proposed rules yesterday.”

“We strongly believe it is vital to introduce our own vehicles to the market because electric cars are still a relatively new technology. This model is not just a matter of selling more cars and providing optimum consumer choice for Americans, but it is also about educating consumers about the benefits of going electric, which is central to our mission to accelerate the shift to sustainable transportation, a new paradigm in automotive technology.”

What does Tesla want done?

“We urge the Christie administration to act in good faith and withdraw the proposed amendment, or amend it so that it reflects the true intent of the Legislature and the people of New Jersey.”

The call is out for Tesla owners and EV owners to unite against the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, members of Governor Christie’s administration and the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers.  It’s our time to show the powers that be that they’re wrong in doing what they’ve done.

teslaWe’ve arrived on scene:


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36 Comments on "Tesla Motors Needs Your Help – Today New Jersey Will Try to Approve Anti-Tesla Direct Sales Legislation"

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thanks for posting this Eric. I’ll be meeting up with Michael Thwaite there today and we can use all the support we can get. If you live in the area and can possibly make it To Trenton this afyernoon, please join us.

We also 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.

This Gandi quote has been repeated so often in the EV world. “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.”
We are in the “then they fight you phase”.
Only one phase to go….


Well, they can still copy other states by requiring EVs to pay more money for registering. They have that move left.

Behind those cardealers looms the shadow of the car industry and behind that the even darker shadow of the oil industry. Can one really beat all that?

It’s remarkable how much influence a bunch of cardealers appear to have….seems to me that more powerful forces are at work here.

I actually think many of the car companies would love to be able to have company owned stores a la Tesla or Apple. The dealer is still the weak link in the customer experience. Their are certain car brands are automatically off my list for consideration because I cannot stand my local dealer.

Christie isn’t supporting the production or sales of American Made Goods in his own state. He’s off my list for President…

Party of No Must Go.

He was actually on your Presidential possibilities list?

No, he wasn’t. Lol.

He was one of many possibilities… Now, his wave function has collapsed into an unfavorable outcome.

This is not about franchise dealers feeling threatened -they are not in any way by what Tesla is doing; this is about cutting a disruptive new competitor down to size.

It’s clear that the meteoric of Tesla is making an industry that doesn’t need a disruptive new competitor like this very nervous. Now it systematically and using every trick in the book attacks Tesla’s Achilles heel: the innovative retail system that plays a major role in Tesla’s marketing strategy, no doubt counting on the effect that relegated to the traditional ICE business model based franchise system Tesla will likely fail in the US market.

This battle is ultimately about Tesla’s survival!

I keep saying here and elsewhere that eventually we’re going to see some major car companies (yes, I’m looking at you, Honda and Toyota) do a full-speed, whiplash-inducing 180-degree turn on EVs. Well, I think it’s clear we’ll see a similar thing with the “Tesla sales model” and state lawmakers. Their well-funded opinions about blocking or hindering Tesla will eventually come up against the reality that it’s obvious to the general public such actions do more harm than good for the state. Once we hit that tipping point, things can change in a hurry, but we’re not there yet.

For similar instances, although at different points in the issue lifecycle, see same sex marriage and decriminalization or even legalization of marijuana in the US.

Somebody cue up Dylan singing something about changing times….

I think the Fed needs to step in, so Tesla doesn’t have to keep going from state to state. Let’s get countrywide ruling on this and move on. Selling Teslas should be no different than selling iPods.

I think what’s clear is that the dealers fear losing the service revenues on combustion engines, when they fight so hard to deny Tesla.

Tesla have two ways to solve this

1- Buy the politicians “camping donations” a better price than dealerships.


2- Take this anti-free market rules all the way up to the Supreme Court and solve this for all. Ford did it and won.

Part of me laughs about this.. I know Tesla needs all the sales it can get. But I think ultimately Tesla will succeed even if some of the states don’t allow sales. And I think 10-20 years from now certain states will look pretty stupid when everyone else in the country is driving Teslas and those states are sitting in the stone age. Then those politicians that voted for this crap will look pretty stupid. And eventually the laws will get changed.

I live in Texas, so my own state is guilty of this crap too. Despite that, I’m seeing Teslas in my area on almost a daily basis now.

I think Solar City should open up dealerships in these states. That should meet the intent of the law by adding a middleman that is indirectly tied to Tesla.

Tesla should use DIVIDE & CONQUER rule…this is what I mean.
Seek only about half the states in the country to get permanent dealer lisences and ignore the rest. Then play it this way…like the Alamo…besiege the remaining states until they give up…through citizen uprisings demanding direct sales.

One way or another the dealer model is on the chopping block…its headed to extinction!!! Why u ask? Because they won’t earn any money on EV service which accounts for 65% of their income…it’s just math…& Elon knows it… so Tesla holds onfor 10 yrs & the landscape changes DRAMATICALLY!!!

WHat happened to the free enterprise system? I thought NJ had a GOP governor

You are free to lobby for your enterprise 🙂

How adorable that you think the GOP supports free enterprise.

This needs to go to the Fed Supreme court and get it over with.
At the least, have each state vote on this.

Image is good, but the ‘Governor’, or ‘State Legislator’ links are dead. I looked at Tesla’s Press and didn’t see it. Anyone have them, for forwarding?


I just sent a note using the form on this site.

As a NY resident, I think this rule is great! Everyone in NJ can buy the car in NY, thereby depriving NJ of taxes. You’ll still be able to register in NJ, just like Texas.

Nope. You don’t pay the sales tax in the state where you buy the car; you pay the sale tax in the state where you register it.

So New Jersey residents would still have to pay New Jersey sales tax on Tesla’s bought in New York if they register the Tesla in New Jersey.


Unlike Texas, NJ is a small state. Putting a Tesla dealership on the border is an easy way to send the required message.

Time to build some bridges with the Christie administration….

Tom, better check your real-time traffic report for any traffic jams before you chose your route 😉 BTW, thank you very much for fighting the good fight!

that fat nj governor is a moron

Every public office in the US is subject to the “work” of special interest groups. The Land of the Free.

What’s next …Outlaw off grid Solar?

There is no sales tax on an electric vehicle in NJ so its not a sales tax issue. Tesla cars are direct shipped to the customer so you cant simply drive over the bridge into Pa or Ny and buy one off the lot because there are no lots full of cars. And if you somehow buy a car in another state, it still gets registered in Nj. You would have to have a license in that other state to get tags for it in that state. And if you buy it “used” there goes your $7500 credit. I wish i knew about this sooner than this morning so i could have been there in Trenton with all 80 members of the EEVC. I did like our gov. but he is really pissing me off now.


Nobody knew about this until a few hours before the vote, that was the plan all along. They didn’t want to give Tesla and those of us in NJ supporting Tesla the time to organize.

We did manage to show up with dozens of supporters, but they quickly voted to approve the measure without letting anyone protest. Then, once it was formally approved, they let the public comment. It didn’t matter way we said or how many of us were there, they were approving this regardless. This had obviously been carefully orchestrated so the voting public of NJ, and Tesla Motors would have no say and no ability to protest.