It’s been months since Tesla Motors and its direct-sales method was banned from New Jersey, but its slow fight to reverse the ban has finally cleared one hurdle. The New Jersey Assembly yesterday passed a bill allowing consumers to buy electric cars directly from manufacturers, and now it’s up to the state Senate and Governor Chris Christie to provide the final approval, Bloomberg reports.
Tesla previously sold cars directly to customers in the Garden State, but was forced to halt sales in April after its sales license wasn’t renewed. Accusations flew between the automaker and government officials, including Tesla’s claim that the governor’s office backed out on its promise allowing Tesla to continue selling in the state. Christie later said a more appropriate move would be for Tesla to go through the state’s legislature, which is exactly what the automaker is doing. There’s currently no timeline on when the bill would reach the state Senate.
Tesla also faced backlash from the New Jersey Coalition of Automobile Retailers, which claimed that the automaker was breaking state law requiring all auto manufacturers to sell their vehicles through a franchised dealership.
Tesla’s fight in the state is an important one. New Jersey is the fourth largest market for luxury cars and Tesla hopes to increase its relatively small stake in the Garden State. The automaker also faces similar battles in a number of states including Florida and Texas.