Tesla has gotten the official brush-off from the White House, at least when it comes to the problems the company has faced concerning its direct sales model. Around a year ago, supporters of the electric carmaker started up a petition on WhiteHouse.gov to appeal to President Obama for action that would allow Tesla to sell its growing lineup of vehicles directly to consumers in all 50 states. Currently, Tesla is banned from selling cars to anyone in certain states, such as New Jersey.
The petition took off quickly and picked up the necessary 100,000 signatures so that the White House had to respond. That response came slowly, and it was only a message that the President of the United States can do nothing about Tesla’s plight. Among the items included in the reply was an explanation that different states regulate how cars are sold in their borders, noting that Congress is the appropriate government body to enact any change to the current laws. Considering that the GOP, which has historically been hostile toward Tesla, is gaining momentum in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, it appears that the efforts of the electric car fans have stalled out, for now.
What this means is that Tesla will continue to have to fight for its right to sell vehicles in each individual state. In many states, the battle is stacked against Tesla since automobile dealers have powerful lobbying groups that hold quite a bit of influence with state legislators.
Tesla actually issued a response to the White House’s long-coming reply. Diarmuid O’Connell, the vice president of business development, said that the automaker was disappointed in the lack of leadership by the White House concerning a vital issue, pointing out that another petition that advocated the construction of a Death Star received a more dignified response.