Tesla sales in New Jersey were supposed to end today, following the state legislature vote a few weeks ago to pull Tesla's sales license there. At the eleventh hour, though, Gov. Chris Christie's administration has extended the deadline to April 15. The specifics of the situation are that the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) is going to give new car dealers until the middle of the month to submit their franchise agreement (which, of course, Tesla stores don't have). That means, for now, it's business as usual
While it's only a two-week extension, it could be enough to keep the California automaker alive in the Garden State. This is because state assemblyman Tim Eustace (a Democrat and EV driver) submitted a bill the other day that would allow Tesla to sell cars directly to customers in New Jersey. One interesting component of Eustace's bill is that it only applies to zero-emission vehicles as long as they make up less than four percent of all the new cars sold in the state. Eustace told NJ.com that this bill might be fast-tracked into law because it has leadership support. Jim Appleton, the president of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailer (the force behind the anti-Tesla movement), said, "to the extent that there is legislation that would allow an all-zero emission vehicle automaker to enter the market for a period of time without franchises, before they eventually convert to a franchise system, it makes sense." You can read the proposed bill here.
The two-week extension could keep Tesla alive in the Garden State.
The MVC gave Tesla a license to sell cars in 2012 and Tesla now operates two stores in New Jersey, one in the Garden State Plaza in Paramus and the other in Short Hills.