Selling EVs in the USA in Retail Stores

Tesla, the US manufacturer of expensive Electric Vehicles [EVs], wants to sell its car in the same way you retail any other product – in stores/showrooms, direct to the public and not through dealers.

EVs have much less need for servicing than ICE [Internal Combustion Engines] cars so a dealer would have less incentive to sell without the benefit of ongoing servicing arrangements.

TESLA300TESLA already works this way in the UK but parts of the USA have made it illegal – until now.

So, the country that espouses free trade has restrictions on trade, ‘though we know that this has often been a problem especially with the massive power of trade unions and vested interests.
Can you, for example, envisage any delight in Texas from the sales of cars not needing ‘gas’?

This comes from

State lawmakers have jump-started their drive to allow Tesla Motors to directly sell its electric cars in New Jersey.

Tesla used to sell its cars directly to New Jersey customers from stores in Garden State Plaza and The Mall at Short Hills, but in March 2014 the state Motor Vehicle Commission voted to begin applying the state law requiring cars to be sold through franchised retail dealers to Tesla.

Since then, the stores have become showrooms while Tesla sought through a lawsuit or legislation to be allowed to sell directly. The Assembly voted 77-0 with one abstention last June to allow it, but the concept was slowed in the Senate as car dealers sought other changes in state law in exchange for relenting on their opposition to Tesla’s direct sales.

The bill endorsed Monday by the Senate Commerce Committee in a 6-0 vote is limited to the direct sales of zero-emission electric cars only. It would allow manufacturers licensed by the state to directly sell cars at a maximum of four locations in the state and require them to operate at least one service facility.

“This is good for New Jersey. This is good for America,” said James Chen, Tesla’s vice president of regulatory affairs for Tesla, who estimated each store creates $7 million to $10 million in economic activity in their first year.

“We believe when you lift restrictions on free market or trade, it really helps business. It helps the consumer,” said Tony Russo, an executive vice president for the Commerce & Industry Association of New Jersey.