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March 10, 2015

N.J. Senate committee approves Tesla Motors bill

A New Jersey Senate committee approved a bill Monday that would allow Tesla Motors to resume selling its electric cars in the state, reports.

The bill would allow the company to operate four outlets in the state, including three existing showrooms at Garden State Plaza, on Route 17 West in Paramus and in Short Hills

Last spring, the state motor vehicle commission enacted rules requiring all new vehicle sales to be completed through a franchise dealership, prohibiting Tesla from selling cars directly to consumers.

Since Tesla has no franchises, customers are able to see the vehicles in the New Jersey outlets but can purchase them only either online or outside the state.

Tesla says selling directly to the consumer works better with its relatively low sales volume and the complicated technology of its vehicles. Dealers, however, say franchises benefit consumers by enabling price competition and giving better customer protection in cases of safety issues and recalls.

While the bill does not mention Tesla by name, it would allow a maker of "zero emissions vehicles" to open four outlets and a retail service center in the state.

The state Assembly approved the bill in June.

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