Tesla Responds To White House’s Response To Direct Sales Petition


Tesla Direct Sales Petition

Tesla Direct Sales Petition

The other day, we broke the news of the White House finally offering a response to the direct sales “We The People” petition.

Today, it’s Tesla’s turn to respond to the White House’s rather weak response.

Here’s what Diarmuid O’Connell, Tesla’s Vice President of Corporate and Business Development, says in regards to the White House’s “timid” response:

“138,469 people signed the petition asking the White House to allow Tesla Motors to sell directly to consumers in all 50 states. More than a year later, at 7.30pm EST on Friday as most of America prepared for the weekend, the White House released its disappointing response to those people. Rather than seize an opportunity to promote innovation and support the first successful American car company to be started in more than a century, the White House issued a response that was even more timid than its rejection of a petition to begin construction of a Death Star. Instead of showing the sort of leadership exhibited by senior officials at the Federal Trade Commission who declared their support for consumer freedom of choice, the White House merely passed the buck to Congress and trumpeted its advances in promoting vehicle efficiency. Given the economic and environmental principles at stake, we would have hoped for stronger leadership and more action.”

Source: Jalopnik

Categories: Tesla

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19 Comments on "Tesla Responds To White House’s Response To Direct Sales Petition"

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Couldn’t have said it better myself. At least some folks see the issue for what it is.

I am Ok with the W.H. response, the folks in the Capitol hate so much this president that any support will be backfire for EVs.

That’s probably why the response was crafted the way it was, particularly since dealerships still wield way too much political power, and we are in a mid-term election year.

However, these things usually backfire. So many people in politics and “leadership” positions lack true leadership.

If the WH had come out and pointed out that some of these laws, as they stand, should not stand, and that a reasonable solution is possible (such as barring direct sales from OEMs that already have franchise dealers, or only permitting direct sales for battery-only EVs from any OEM), then the WH would gain some respect from the libertarians, some conservatives, and many liberals.

They (the US Goverment) say that this (direct sales) can not be ordered to the states. Which is correct. They point out how much they have done to help EV sales (company loans, regain taxes, money for R&D), which also shows their passion for EVs and fuel efficient cars… I don’t get it why anyone should complain.

Hindrance of interstate commerce is a federal not state issue..

Yes, the dealership franchise laws are dumb and protectionist, but how to they hinder interstate commerce? Anybody in any state can still order a Tesla online. It’s only intrastate commerce that is being regulated and (by each state with such regulations) and, as the WH pointed out, that is a state matter.

For example, the Texas state legislature is putting undue burdens on a California company from selling its product to willing Texan customers.

That is regulating interstate commerce even though it is not completely preventing it.


The federal government definitely has oversight of interstate commerce. They can override state laws that limit interstate commerce – especially because states that are blocking Tesla are cynically using their laws to protect car dealers.

My response to the Tesla response to the WH response to their original petition is, wait for it, “No responsible: Park and lock it.”

Time to start a petition for the White House to grow a pair.


Lots of issues in United States could be solved, if White House, Congress and Senate are just abolished and States are granted with full independence.

The reverse is also true, abolish “States Rights”, and things could be done more quickly, and with more uniformity.

This is very true; however, the economic and climactic variations across the US are not ideally served by uniform means. There needs to be a balance to allow for innovation, intelligence and foresight when Congress falls short (like California’s energy and other environmental policies that 10+ other states have adopted), while preventing any state to impede commerce across its borders (like these dealership laws).

Hahaha! That’s hilarious…the Constitution, establishing our Federal form of gov’t., was created precisely because the previous gov’t (Articles of Confederation) pretty much established what you suggest: it was patethic, incredibly inefficient and made us easy prey for reconquering by European powers.

The states taxed each others’ goods, they squabbled over roads connecting one state to the next…it was absolutely ludicrous, pathetic and ultimately foolish.

I’m reading this from across the pond, so excuse the potentially dumb questions…
Is there a problem buying a Tesla then if you don’t live in Tesla’s State?
Is this like me not being able to buy a Honda because the factory is in a different County to where I live?
I thought America was the land of the free???

The laws were originally enacted so there was a real and definite presence in localities to protect the consumers that bought cars from manufacturers that ceased operation. Please don’t bother to reply and state the obvious.

The real question is why -can’t- Tesla simply put in a boutique in all states, and the answer is that it is a waste of Tesla’s money and they don’t Want to.. pointing out the abysmal state of LONG-standing laws when you have a financial bias is a battle Tesla’s competitors have given up even trying, high-five for ‘making ’em out to be the bad guys, Elon’ but the fact is that the other auto manufacturers have spent great gobs of money supporting these ‘asinine laws’ and aren’t real keen to hear the same arguments that you are now professing to be ‘re-think’ when they have already paid and paid to support dealerships and the local taxes they provide. There is a reason that every state does Not have a Ferrari ‘dealership’, even if you don’t like that reason. Put in the store and STFU.
take it or leave it, I am a confirmed T-fanboi.