NJ Assembly approves Tesla direct sales

A couple look inside a Tesla Motors Inc. Model S at the company's store at the Short Hills Mall in Short Hills, New Jersey.
Emile Warnsteker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

After an embarrassing defeat in March, Tesla Motors may soon be driving in the fast lane in New Jersey.

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The New Jersey Assembly overwhelmingly passed a law Monday that would allow Tesla to sell its vehicles directly to the public, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The law, which passed 77-0, with one abstention, was a response to a March ruling from the state's Motor Vehicle Commission that barred Tesla's direct-sales business model.

Diarmuid O'Connell, Tesla's vice president for business development, called the Assembly's vote "an overwhelming message of support for consumer freedom of choice," according to the Inquirer. After the March ruling, the company has been forced to alter its two in-state stores to showrooms where prices could not be discussed.

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Before it becomes law, the bill needs to be passed by the state's Senate, and then signed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie—whom Tesla CEO Elon Musk had accused of a "backroom deal" following the March ruling.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk will appear on CNBC's "Closing Bell" at 4 p.m. ET.