Ted S. Warren/ap file photoTesla's first-quarter new vehicle deliveries climbed 55 percent.

Ted S. Warren/ap file photoTesla's first-quarter new vehicle deliveries climbed 55 percent.

New law allows direct sale of Tesla cars in New Jersey

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a measure Wednesday that would allow the sale of Tesla and other zero-emission cars in the state.

The new law comes about a year after the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission issued regulations requiring cars to be sold through franchises.

The Palo Alto, California-based company markets its vehicles directly to consumers, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk protested the New Jersey regulations last year. He said the company chose not to sell through franchises because most of their revenue comes from gasoline-powered cars leaving little incentive to sell electric vehicles.

A message to the company seeking comment Wednesday was not immediately returned.

The legislation also requires companies selling cars directly to consumers to maintain a service facility and to report sales figures to the state.

Christie promised last year to sign legislation letting companies like Tesla sell directly in the state.

On Wednesday, he took credit for fulfilling the promise.

“We're pleased that manufacturers like Tesla will now have the opportunity to establish direct sales operations for consumers in a manner lawfully in New Jersey,” Christie said in a statement.

Democrats, who control the Legislature and sent the bill to Christie's desk on Monday, praised the development. Democratic Assemblyman Lou Greenwald called the new law a “win-win” for New Jersey residents.

Christie had 45 days to act on the bill but chose to sign it just two days after legislators sent it to him.

businessChris ChristieNew JerseyScience & TechnologyTesla

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