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Tesla Could Sell Again in NJ Under New Bill [AUDIO]

Since March, New Jersey has banned Tesla from directly selling its luxury electric vehicles to consumers in the Garden State. A pair of lawmakers has unveiled a bill they hope will pave the way for Tesla to start doing business in New Jersey again. They say the Garden State can’t afford to turn companies away.

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A Tesla Motors vehicle
A Tesla Motors vehicle (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

“This legislation will allow Tesla, which currently has two locations in New Jersey, to grow to a maximum of four with the requirement that they must maintain a New Jersey service station with the hope that they will grow with the production of the product and the sale of the product,” said bill co-sponsor, Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Voorhees).

The new measure would strengthen the automobile market, promote innovation and keep Tesla in operation in New Jersey, according to Greenwald and co-sponsor Assemblyman Tim Eustace (D-Paramus).

“When we come into a state we invest back into the state,” said Jim Chen, Tesla’s Vvce president of Regulatory Affairs. “We very much hire New Jersey residents. We have direct economic activity that benefits this state. Each one of our stores generates anywhere from seven to ten million dollars of direct economic activity.”

On Monday, the Christie Administration announced that there is an $807 million shortfall in the current year’s budget. Greenwald said that’s proof that the state needs all of the money it can get.

“We have to think outside the box to find creative ways to grow our economy,” Greenwald said. “The production of this vehicles and the sale of these vehicle creates jobs.”

Because of the Motor Vehicle Commission’s regulatory action in March, current law dictates that automobiles must be sold through franchises in New Jersey.

“As with all new legislation, we will consider it in the normal course,” said Gov. Chris Christie’s press secretary Michael Drewniak. “We don’t typically comment until new bills are passed by both houses and get a thorough review by the Governor’s Office.”

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