Tesla bids to overturn New Jersey commission’s March 11 ruling

Article by Christian A., on April 4, 2014

Tesla Motors Inc. has filed an appeal in New Jersey Superior Court to overturn the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission’s March 11 ruling barring it from directly selling its electric cars to consumers. The 11 ruling means Tesla’s two New Jersey stores will have to end sales effective April 15. The New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers backs the commission’s position.

The appeal comes as Tesla chief executive Elon Musk remains adamant in implement his direct sales model that challenges state laws safeguarding franchised dealers. While these state laws generally bar factory-owned stores, some states opted to settle for compromise agreements that allows Tesla to sell directly to customer, albeit from a limited number of stores.

 In a statement, Tesla claimed that New Jersey’s ban on its sales model is not legally permissible and that it directly harms that state’s consumers. It said that that New Jersey law preventing carmakers from exploiting their greater market power to compete unfairly against dealership franchises does not apply to Tesla because it has no dealership franchises.

Tesla said in court documents for dealers to effectively ban its direct sales model, they need to “enthusiastically tout the reasons why electric vehicles are superior to gasoline vehicles.”

In response to Tesla’s appeal, Jim Appleton, president of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers, said in a statement that they confident that Tesla’s legal challenge of the NJMVC rules will fail. Dealers against Tesla’s direct-sales model claim that the EV maker in some cases is violating state laws promoting price competition and protecting consumers.

Touted as an evolution in automotive engineering, the new Tesla Model S fully electric sedan elegantly combines performance and safety as well as efficiency. Aside from the having the longest range among electric vehicles and earning the highest possible safety ratings, the new Tesla Model S gets better through over-the-air software updates.

Using Tesla’s architecture as base, the new Model S has its battery located on the floor, allowing it to have a very low center of gravity. This means that the new Model S has minimal risk of rollover and higher levels of handling and performance. Sans any engine, the Model S boasts of a crumple zone larger than other performance sedans, which means it could better absorb the energy of a front collision.

Also contributing to the high safety level of the Tesla Model S is the fact that its distinct electric drivetrain sits beneath the car, giving it a low center of gravity. Thanks to this and other elements, the Model S was able to earn the highest safety ratings from the NHTSA and the Euro NCAP. Likewise, the Model S has set a record of the lowest likelihood of occupant injury as tested in the United States. This is supported by a number of standard active safety features like automatic emergency braking and collision warning, as well as blind spot detection and lane departure warning. Optional convenience features are also available like traffic-aware cruise control, summon as well as autosteer and autopark.

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