A Tesla fan's petition to the White House – asking the federal government to "allow Tesla Motors to sell directly to consumers in all 50 states" – is gaining official traction. Over the weekend, Tesla Motors sent out an email to supporters asking them to add their name. The petition currently has over 76,000 signatures (up from just 18,500 Thursday) and the deadline is Friday.

Tesla says it is "under attack from a number of car dealer associations in various states."

Tesla's email said the electric vehicle automaker is "under attack from a number of car dealer associations in various states" and that these attacks "are protectionist in nature and infringe on the right of the consumer to choose how they purchase and service their vehicle." Tesla said it "want[s] this petition to succeed" and then gives a handy link to click and sign. Here it is.

The backstory here is that dealer groups in New York, North Carolina and Massachusetts tried (and so far have failed) to stop Tesla from selling its EVs directly to the customer. Texas, though, does prohibit those sales. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in April that the company's scuffle with the auto dealers could go nationwide. Getting the White House to respond to this issue – which is what will happen if the petition gets to 100,000 names – is a perfect way to do that. You can read Tesla's email below.
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As you may know, Tesla is under attack from a number of car dealer associations in various states who are challenging Tesla's right to directly serve our customers at Tesla Stores and Service Centers.

Their efforts are protectionist in nature and infringe on the right of the consumer to choose how they purchase and service their vehicle.

An anonymous Tesla enthusiast created a White House petition to allow direct sales of cars to consumers in all states. We want to thank the tens of thousands of fans who have voiced their support and have already signed the petition.

We want this petition to succeed. For that to happen, the petition needs 64,000 more signatures by next Friday, July 5, 2013.

Please act now and take a moment to register, sign and forward the petition today!