The fine folks at Mojo Motors recently put together a US map showing where the Tesla Model S electric vehicles can and can't be legally sold. They marked the "legal" states in blue, "illegal" states in red and "in legislation" states in that proverbial gray area. And darn if that colorful map didn't match up pretty well with a political-party map of the country.
Of the 50 US states, 24 states are technically Tesla-ready, in addition to Washington, DC. And while some (California, New York, Massachusetts and Washington State) were pretty obvious, others (Mississippi and Georgia, for example) surprised us a little. We were also interested to see that Arizona and West Virginia were marked as "in legislation" but Ohio and New Jersey were not, given the fights there. In any case, Texas is red. Bright red. Tesla Supercharger locations are also marked, but Tesla's constantly updated map is likely a better source for that info after a few weeks have passed.
24 states are technically Tesla-ready.
If you'd like to dig into the nitty gritty of the various dealer franchise laws, then use the same source that Mojo Motors' marketing manager Max Katsarelas used to make the map, an article in the Georgia State University Law Review from 2002. Check out footnote 153 on page 23 for all the details. While he did integrate current news reports, Katsarelas told AutoblogGreen that he had to update the map recently after finding out that Oregon and Indiana do allow Tesla sales. With the ongoing legislation fights, we don't expect this map to remain current all that long. Still, you can even click it to enlarge.
The legality of Tesla being able to sell directly to consumers without third-party dealership franchises could some day change from the patchwork you see above into a single color. Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) went on record as saying that Missouri and New Jersey should reconsider its policies that would prevent automakers from direct consumer sales. It's not a national rule, but it is a step in that direction.