Just over a year since the sale of Tesla automobiles was banned in the state of New Jersey, a new bill that was signed by Governor Chris Christie has changed everything. The young automaker can now establish up to four locations in the state to sell its cars directly to consumers.
For most people, the ability for Tesla to legally sell cars in their state will have little effect on their lives. In all honesty, Tesla is a niche brand at the moment, considering that the average vehicle sold in the United States is a fraction of the cost of a Model S. Still, many are calling the signing of the new law a victory for freedom and open markets.
As Richard Read of the Christian Science Monitor points out, the move is a wise one on Christie’s part. It is drawing praise from people across the political spectrum, because Tesla is not only about producing zero emissions, but also about the might of the American economic machine and the ability to sell products without unnecessary government regulation.
There’s a possibility that Christie is using this victory to drum up support for a run at the White House, especially after his image took a beating from “Bridgegate.”
The new bill applies to any manufacturer of zero-emissions vehicles, which have been specifically approved by the state. Like a similar requirement in Arizona, the automaker has to open a service center in the state, which it’s already done. It cannot open more than four stores. Last year it was approved to open up to five stores in the state of New York.
There are still numerous states where Tesla cannot legally sell cars, but the trend seems to be going the other way lately. When Tesla was banned from Michigan, it made national news and angered a large portion of the country, including some car dealers who said they weren’t afraid of the increased competition Tesla posed.