Tesla: Chris Christie’s administration just blocked us from selling our cars in New Jersey

posted at 8:01 pm on March 12, 2014 by Allahpundit

All I know about this subject comes from a half-dozen stories I read during the past few hours, so I earnestly defer to commenters who know better. But am I right in thinking that this is nothing more than pure, sweet, 200-proof special-interest cronyism at work? The sticking point, as some of you already know, is that Tesla sells directly to the public through its own stores, not through third-party dealerships. Car dealers obviously have a strong incentive to make sure that that business model doesn’t catch on. Solution: Keep Tesla off the market, especially a market like New Jersey where there’s high demand for luxury cars among well-heeled Manhattan commuters. Tesla lobbied Christie’s administration to block a new rule being kicked around by the state’s Motor Vehicle Commission that would require all cars in Jersey to be sold through dealerships. Let it play out in the legislature, they argued, where they’d have more of a chance of defeating a bill along similar lines. Team Christie allegedly agreed; Tesla claims they’ve already been granted two licenses to sell their cars in state. Then, boom — suddenly the MVC turned around and passed the dealership rule. No more Tesla sales in New Jersey starting on April 1st.

The company’s unhappy:

Having previously issued two dealer licenses to Tesla, this regulation would be a complete reversal to the long standing position of NJMVC on Tesla’s stores. Indeed, the Administration and the NJMVC are thwarting the Legislature and going beyond their authority to implement the state’s laws at the behest of a special interest group looking to protect its monopoly at the expense of New Jersey consumers. This is an affront to the very concept of a free market…

We are disappointed in the actions of the NJMVC and the Christie Administration, which come on the heels of more than nine months of unexplained delays in the issuing of a new sales license for Tesla, despite our numerous requests, calls, and letters. In addition, the NJMVC has also delayed the annual renewal of Tesla’s current dealer licenses without indication of the cause of the delay. The delays have handicapped Tesla in New Jersey, where, without clear licensing procedures and fair enforcement of existing law, we have been forced to delay our growth plans. This is an issue that affects not just Tesla customers, but also New Jersey citizens at large, because Tesla would be unable to create new jobs or participate in New Jersey’s economic revival…

We strongly believe it is vital to introduce our own vehicles to the market because electric cars are still a relatively new technology. This model is not just a matter of selling more cars and providing optimum consumer choice for Americans, but it is also about educating consumers about the benefits of going electric, which is central to our mission to accelerate the shift to sustainable transportation, a new paradigm in automotive technology.

Jersey’s not the first state to spike Tesla. The two others, if you can believe it, are Arizona and Texas, where the auto-dealer lobby is also extremely influential. They haven’t quite kept Tesla off the market there but they’ve done the next best thing — they’ve made it a Kafkaesque hassle for interested consumers to actually purchase a car. Seriously:

Store employees, for example, may not tell visitors how much a Model S costs. They can’t give test drives. They can’t discuss financing, leasing, or purchasing options.

Employees are not even allowed to refer interested people to an out-of-state store. No sales-related activity is permitted…

When we called the Austin store, the young lady who answered the phone would say only that the Model S was priced like similar luxury sedans, and referred us to the Tesla website…

Service centers are not allowed to display the Tesla logo or advertise that they do Tesla warranty work or service.

Christie’s team defends the new rule on grounds that, right now, all cars in Jersey are sold through dealerships and therefore they’re merely preserving the status quo until the state legislature weighs in. Unless I’m missing something, though, there’s no current law stating that cars must be sold that way; that’s why Tesla was able to obtain a few licenses before the NJDVM shut them down. Essentially, the Christie administration had a choice between protecting the current cronyist model or opening up the market up to competition and letting the legislature act to reverse that if it wanted to. It chose cronyism. Or am I missing something? This isn’t a shoddy fly-by-night operation they’re trying to protect consumers from; the Tesla Model S is the highest-rated car that Consumer Reports has ever tested. (“If it could recharge in any gas station in three minutes, this car would score about 110.”) If electric cars and the company’s direct-sales model are a bust, why can’t we let the market tell us that? And why doesn’t ostensibly conservative Chris Christie see it that way?

Actually, it may be the market that eventually sorts this out. Tesla is shopping around for a state in which to open its new $5 billion battery plant. Let the bidding begin.


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fat boy is a fcuk up…

OmahaConservative on March 12, 2014 at 8:04 PM

Tesla benefits in a big way from government tax credits. So they are cronies too. They just got beat by other cronies this time. I find it hard to feel sorry for them here, even though in principle I don’t think the government should get in the way of them selling direct.

Mark1971 on March 12, 2014 at 8:06 PM

Just shut down a bridge….Christie.

You can target all makes and models…

Electrongod on March 12, 2014 at 8:08 PM

This is police state stuff and cronyism.

crankyoldlady on March 12, 2014 at 8:08 PM

Bribes and kickbacks are how you “get things done” in New Jersey. I see the “Electable” Christy Kreme has done nothing to change that culture of corruption.

ConstantineXI on March 12, 2014 at 8:11 PM

But am I right in thinking that this is nothing more than pure, sweet, 200-proof special-interest cronyism at work?

You betcha, straight up. If I knew nothing else about Christie, this would be sufficient to completely disqualify him from the Presidency. Same goes for Perry, to be honest. I have no affection for Tesla as a company or as a car–they’re insufferable, coal-burning smugmobiles. But economic liberty is the defining issue of our age, so if you’re wrong on that, I don’t care what you’re right about.

Fabozz on March 12, 2014 at 8:11 PM

A phone call from The Boss will change his mind.

No..not Obama…the other boss…..

Bruce Springsteen

Electrongod on March 12, 2014 at 8:11 PM

If electric cars and the company’s direct-sales model are a bust, why can’t we let the market tell us that? And why doesn’t ostensibly conservative Chris Christie see it that way?

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Good one, AP, good one!!

Bitter Clinger on March 12, 2014 at 8:12 PM

This is police state stuff and cronyism.

crankyoldlady on March 12, 2014 at 8:08 PM

Government power is out of control everywhere. They control everything from what you are allowed to eat to what you can drink, to what kind of TOILET YOU CAN BUY to excrete that food and drink, to the LIGHT BULB you can use to light that bathroom to the COLORING, PAPER, and etc OF THE TOILET PAPER YOU WIPE YOUR ASS WITH!

ConstantineXI on March 12, 2014 at 8:13 PM

I have no affection for Tesla as a company or as a car–they’re insufferable, coal-burning smugmobiles. But economic liberty is the defining issue of our age, so if you’re wrong on that, I don’t care what you’re right about.

Fabozz on March 12, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Actually, if I could afford one, I’d probably buy one. For one thing, the Tesla alone of all electric vehicles seems to be pretty cool and performs well.

But the main reason is I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED A CAR THAT RUNS ON COAL!!!!

:)

ConstantineXI on March 12, 2014 at 8:15 PM

But economic liberty is the defining issue of our age, so if you’re wrong on that, I don’t care what you’re right about.

Fabozz on March 12, 2014 at 8:11 PM

This.

The angry conservative critique of the GOP is that it’s just the party of the special interests the Dems don’t have room for.

This is why.

HitNRun on March 12, 2014 at 8:16 PM

My guess is that Christy went along with this, because of all the regulatory fee’s and taxes that the State collects off of brick and mortar dealerships. None of which I imagine applied to Tesla.

oscarwilde on March 12, 2014 at 8:16 PM

My guess is that Christy went along with this, because of all the regulatory fee’s and taxes that the State collects off of brick and mortar dealerships. None of which I imagine applied to Tesla.

oscarwilde on March 12, 2014 at 8:16 PM

So now he’ll miss out on ALL OF IT because Tesla customers will have to buy their cars in other states.

And if you’ve got that kind of money you are smart enough to register it in another, lower tax state too where you have a business presence to tie it to.

ConstantineXI on March 12, 2014 at 8:17 PM

“This losing tax-subsidized venture joins other past losers like the Obama-subsidized Volt that gets 40 miles per battery charge, or like the Obama-subsidized Tesla that turns into a ‘brick’ when the battery completely discharges and then costs $40,000 to repair,”

Sarah Palin

renalin on March 12, 2014 at 8:20 PM

if this is true (i suspect it is as i have read it elsewhere, too) he has surrendered any chance at the GOP nomination. i’ll stay home before i vote for this kind of cronyism. no better than hillary at this point.

jlw on March 12, 2014 at 8:21 PM

oscarwilde on March 12, 2014 at 8:16 PM

So now he’ll miss out on ALL OF IT because Tesla customers will have to buy their cars in other states.

And if you’ve got that kind of money you are smart enough to register it in another, lower tax state too where you have a business presence to tie it to.

ConstantineXI on March 12, 2014 at 8:17 PM

Not vehicle taxes and registration. Business taxes and regulations. Unemployment compensation, disability, environmental impact, employe wage taxes, property taxes. The whole gamut of regulatory fee’s and taxes that regular business are subject to. Tesla was sidestepping most of those fee’s and taxes.

oscarwilde on March 12, 2014 at 8:22 PM

The Austin store is five minutes from my house. It has one car. It is a good looking car.

KCB on March 12, 2014 at 8:23 PM

if this is true (i suspect it is as i have read it elsewhere, too) he has surrendered any chance at the GOP nomination. i’ll stay home before i vote for this kind of cronyism. no better than hillary at this point.

jlw on March 12, 2014 at 8:21 PM

I decided after 2012 that I will NEVER AGAIN hold my nose to vote for a Republican “BECAUSE…lesser of TWO EVILS…”.

The lesser of two evils IS STILL EVIL! I am a Christian. A Christian CANT vote for evil in ANY FORM!

This is why if Matt Bevin does not defeat Mitch McRINO (who is running some vile attack ads in my state against Bevin that he’d NEVER run against Obama) I am not voting for Senate this year.

ConstantineXI on March 12, 2014 at 8:24 PM

My big question is:

Which obstruction is more difficult and expensive to remove from blocking your driveway, Chris Christie passed out from a massive sugar rush and Bruce Springsteen/Barky gang call … or a bricked Tesla?

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on March 12, 2014 at 8:24 PM

Flat.

Bmore on March 12, 2014 at 8:24 PM

Not vehicle taxes and registration. Business taxes and regulations. Unemployment compensation, disability, environmental impact, employe wage taxes, property taxes. The whole gamut of regulatory fee’s and taxes that regular business are subject to. Tesla was sidestepping most of those fee’s and taxes.

oscarwilde on March 12, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Maybe those taxes should not exist in the first place on car dealerships? No wonder cars are so expensive.

The PREMISE that “these taxes MUST exist” must ALSO be challenged!

ConstantineXI on March 12, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Tesla was sidestepping most of those fee’s and taxes.

oscarwilde on March 12, 2014 at 8:22 PM

I guess he should ban Amazon deliveries, then. Those generate a bare fraction of the revenue brick-and-mortar stores do.

Think of how much tax revenue NJ could generate by sending its citizens back into the 20th Century!

HitNRun on March 12, 2014 at 8:28 PM

I gotta go with the free market. It isn’t that they aren’t brick and mortar. I think it is a store owned by Tesla, as opposed to a Tesla dealer.

KCB on March 12, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Actually, if I could afford one, I’d probably buy one. For one thing, the Tesla alone of all electric vehicles seems to be pretty cool and performs well.

But the main reason is I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED A CAR THAT RUNS ON COAL!!!!

:)

ConstantineXI on March 12, 2014 at 8:15 PM

A friend of mine has one. He likes it, had a Lamborghini (I think that’s what it was, not a big car fan) before it. It’s a rich boy’s toy and that’s it. It goes 200 miles max on a charge and takes six hours to recharge. Batteries estimated to last about 5 years and will cost $28K to $35K to replace. Based on his past car history he won’t have it 5 years. He said it was peppy and smooth. He was under no misconceptions about it’s utility just wanted it for fun.

Oldnuke on March 12, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Not vehicle taxes and registration. Business taxes and regulations. Unemployment compensation, disability, environmental impact, employe wage taxes, property taxes. The whole gamut of regulatory fee’s and taxes that regular business are subject to. Tesla was sidestepping most of those fee’s and taxes.

oscarwilde on March 12, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Maybe those taxes should not exist in the first place on car dealerships? No wonder cars are so expensive.

The PREMISE that “these taxes MUST exist” must ALSO be challenged!

ConstantineXI on March 12, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Oh, do not get me wrong, I do not support the current draconian regulatory or taxes structures at all, just providing you with a logical practical explanation for what is behind Christy’s actions.

In politics, the most logical and rational explanation for anything a politician does, should always begin with the question of who is going to make money off of this.

oscarwilde on March 12, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Tuscon is in the bidding war for tbe new battery plant.

No worries of us getting those 6,500 jobs though.

Our City Council is 7 d’s, no r’s.

We are losiing business hand over fist.

wolly4321 on March 12, 2014 at 8:30 PM

renalin on March 12, 2014 at 8:20 PM

A friend of mine bought a Volt because a) he has a ton of money and b) a sense of humor, and it’s a surprisingly fun car to drive – I needled him endlessly about it, especially since it was a case of a wealthy guy getting a tax break to buy a car most people wouldn’t even consider. That said, it’s the first time I’d ever even seen one.

On a recent visit I told him I had to test drive it, so we tooled around south Florida in his electric car and I was disappointed to like it as much as I did. I’d never buy one at its current price, but if it dipped under $25K, I’d consider it just for the pleasure of driving it. He’s got about 20K miles on it and claimed he’s never had a problem with it.

King B on March 12, 2014 at 8:31 PM

oscarwilde on March 12, 2014 at 8:22 PM

I guess he should ban Amazon deliveries, then. Those generate a bare fraction of the revenue brick-and-mortar stores do.

Think of how much tax revenue NJ could generate by sending its citizens back into the 20th Century!

HitNRun on March 12, 2014 at 8:28 PM

ROTFLMAO… Oh please please tell me you are honestly unaware that most states either already have included sales taxes or are trying to include sales tax on online businesses like Amazon.

oscarwilde on March 12, 2014 at 8:32 PM

Being the home of crappy drivers, they’d get smashed up soon anyway so why bother? While I was on a job there, State Farm dropped the entire state because they suck so bad at driving. They have these weird things they call “jug handles” because so many people were being killed simply making left hand turns at intersections, they made turn offs upstream so they could turn left at a safer distance and go straight thru the light instead of a simple left hand turn. I’ve driven in almost every state and a lot of foreign countries too and I ain’t seen nothin’ like Joyzee…

Big John on March 12, 2014 at 8:32 PM

If the dealer price is > the factory price, wouldn’t that give a purchaser standing for a lawsuit?

wolly4321 on March 12, 2014 at 8:34 PM

In politics, the most logical and rational explanation for anything a politician does, should always begin with the question of who is going to make money off of this.

oscarwilde on March 12, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Especially in a corrupt slime pit like New Jersey.

ConstantineXI on March 12, 2014 at 8:34 PM

I’m no fan of Tesla, but Christie is a major disappointment. He’s just another lib who ran as a Republican because it’s easier to get on their ballot line.
We need to purge this guy.
He doesn’t move the agenda forward at all. Why hasn’t he reigned in NJ’s public sector unions like Walker did? If its because he doesn’t have the legislature, why didn’t he use his political capital to get his side elected? Why doesn’t he help other Republicans in close fights? Why won’t he oppose Andy Cuomo?
This guy is a fraud, and he needs to be called out.

Iblis on March 12, 2014 at 8:35 PM

If the dealer price is > the factory price, wouldn’t that give a purchaser standing for a lawsuit?

wolly4321 on March 12, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Are there any honest judges left anywhere?

That fact is more important… FAR more important than the merits of your case or the law, sadly!

ConstantineXI on March 12, 2014 at 8:35 PM

Big John on March 12, 2014 at 8:32 PM

No matter how awful Jersey drivers are, they can’t compare to Rhode Island drivers. In Rhode Island, if you want to make a left onto a big, busy street you don’t wait for any breaks in traffic (since they never come), you inch out, blocking the lanes and stopping traffic from the left and then finally merge (wildly) into traffic on the other side going left. All the while you have to make sure to keep your right turn signal on … the best defense is a good offense.

Rhode Island has the worst drivers in the world – and that includes Europe and the third world.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on March 12, 2014 at 8:37 PM

ROTFLMAO… Oh please please tell me you are honestly unaware that most states either already have included sales taxes or are trying to include sales tax on online businesses like Amazon.

oscarwilde on March 12, 2014 at 8:32 PM

I was referring to your

Business taxes and regulations. Unemployment compensation, disability, environmental impact, employe wage taxes, property taxes.

And actually what the states hold re: sales tax is irrelevant; their taxes apply but they can’t collect them across state lines (although Amazon is collecting them voluntarily now).

HitNRun on March 12, 2014 at 8:42 PM

Big John on March 12, 2014 at 8:32 PM

I’d never seen anything like the jug-handles. I was out there for Sandy work and people back home would ask me about Jersey, and my response was “they have jug-handles and the worst traffic I’ve ever seen.” I enjoyed my time there, but I’ve never seen traffic like Jersey traffic, and like you, I’ve been all over the world.

King B on March 12, 2014 at 8:42 PM

Jersey’s not the first state to spike Tesla. The two others, if you can believe it, are Arizona and Texas

Odd, I just assumed they could sell here in AZ as there’s actually a Tesla store in the mall here in Scottsdale complete with 2 Teslas in the store. But I’ve never actually gone in, so guess maybe they can’t actually purchase, just look at it?

nextgen_repub on March 12, 2014 at 8:46 PM

I was referring to your

Business taxes and regulations. Unemployment compensation, disability, environmental impact, employe wage taxes, property taxes.

And actually what the states hold re: sales tax is irrelevant; their taxes apply but they can’t collect them across state lines (although Amazon is collecting them voluntarily now).

HitNRun on March 12, 2014 at 8:42 PM

Are you intentionally being obtuse and ignorant? No, never mind, you are just trolling.

oscarwilde on March 12, 2014 at 8:51 PM

Odd, I just assumed they could sell here in AZ as there’s actually a Tesla store in the mall here in Scottsdale complete with 2 Teslas in the store. But I’ve never actually gone in, so guess maybe they can’t actually purchase, just look at it?

nextgen_repub on March 12, 2014 at 8:46 PM

Possibly.

States are fooling themselves if they THINK they actually HAVE this kind of power anymore, to exclude a product from their state because a company won’t knuckle to their graft and corruption. A Tesla rep only has to tell the customer who to call, or give them the website, and possibly paperwork, to make the purchase. All the while the car can be shown and demonstrated at their store…

With the existence of the INTERNET governments no longer have the ABILITY to do what New Jersey is trying to do.

ConstantineXI on March 12, 2014 at 8:51 PM

I have no affection for Tesla as a company or as a car–they’re insufferable, coal-burning smugmobiles. But economic liberty is the defining issue of our age, so if you’re wrong on that, I don’t care what you’re right about.

Fabozz on March 12, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Well said. Christie is a big government, cronie-cuddling dope.

In the headline thread this morning, I was stunned to learn that you cannot pump your own gas in New Jersey, because of some idiotic 1950 law that no one has the brains to undo.

Jaibones on March 12, 2014 at 8:51 PM

I decided after 2012 that I will NEVER AGAIN hold my nose to vote for a Republican “BECAUSE…lesser of TWO EVILS…”.

The lesser of two evils IS STILL EVIL! I am a Christian. A Christian CANT vote for evil in ANY FORM!

This is why if Matt Bevin does not defeat Mitch McRINO (who is running some vile attack ads in my state against Bevin that he’d NEVER run against Obama) I am not voting for Senate this year.

ConstantineXI on March 12, 2014 at 8:24 PM

It’s this all or nothing silly attitude like yours that gave us obama and now will give us Hillary.
Politics are a game. The winner of the game gets to rule. If our side does not take out the bad guys in our party by the time the primaries are over its a missed opportunity. Its a loss. To counter the loss by staying home because you didn’t get your way creates a double loss.
Quite frankly it’s just dumb.

rodguy911 on March 12, 2014 at 8:51 PM

It’s this all or nothing silly attitude like yours that gave us obama and now will give us Hillary.
Politics are a game. The winner of the game gets to rule. If our side does not take out the bad guys in our party by the time the primaries are over its a missed opportunity. Its a loss. To counter the loss by staying home because you didn’t get your way creates a double loss.
Quite frankly it’s just dumb.

rodguy911 on March 12, 2014 at 8:51 PM

Our side isn’t running people who are ANY BETTER than the other side.

You care to argue that John McCain would be ANY LESS DISASTROUS of a President than Obama in any meaningful way? Sure, I think Mitt Romney was a decent man (a VERY decent man) but he isn’t and never was an actual conservative.

ConstantineXI on March 12, 2014 at 8:57 PM

Well said. Christie is a big government, cronie-cuddling dope.

Quoting myself is dumb, but oh well. Having committed to “Christie is a corrupt dope” and then learning that Rick Perry’s Texas has the same law, let me be clear — so are Perry and his Texas Republicans.

They should try free markets in Texas … they might like them. Now I know why my friend in Houston bought his Tesla in Chicago. Jackasses.

Some enterprising blogger might want to ask Perry why this is?

Jaibones on March 12, 2014 at 9:01 PM

It’s this all or nothing silly attitude like yours that gave us obama

rodguy911 on March 12, 2014 at 8:51 PM

No. It was the traitors in the GOP pushing aid and comfort for illegals in 2006-2007 that drove many away from the party and gave us Barky, along with the fact that the idiots left in the GOP nominated the most detested sack OS in the party to run in 2008 – the guy who was pushing that treasonous drive for illegals the years before. That is what made the GOP a pariah among ALL and allowed Barky to slime into office and destroy America.

I don’t know what you think you might accomplish with your comment. I’m done voting GOP (2012 and the re-election of that loser weasel, Boner, was it for me) and there are many others who think the same. At this point, it doesn’t matter, anyway. The destruction has already been done, thankis in large part to McSHame and many Bushies telling people how Barky would be such a great Prez (LOL) and that no one needed to be scared of the retarded, America-hating, SUkarno-wannabe in the Oval Office. Yeah .. those sort of people are no better than the useful idiot democrats.

Have fun voting for the GOP. You guys will probably find an illegal to vote in my stead. My decades of GOP votes are done and finished.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on March 12, 2014 at 9:06 PM

Let the bidding begin.

Georgia! Because so many in the ATL already drive one.

Bmore on March 12, 2014 at 9:09 PM

Yup Christie is doing exactly what Rick Perry did, and they both suck for doing it. Of course it’s about the money from donors who own dealerships. Infuriating and this to me is far worse than the bridge scandal.

The government dictating to a private company that it can’t sell it’s own freaking product. It’s incredible.

And yes Tesla took a bailout, but I believe they paid it back at least. You’ve got liberals and unions on one side, and the states Republican governors pulling this crap on the other. And everyone paying off each other to boot.

Dash on March 12, 2014 at 9:13 PM

On this misuse of Tesla’s name:

Check out the thread on how Tesla Motors is just another car company on the goverment dole.

California and other Earth First states and the fed’s write them checks total up to $100 million for “battery type change out credits” “sort of like Al Gores Carbon Credit scam.

http://www.wattsupwiththat.com

about three or four threads down today

There seems to be no end to the fraud and waste these commie’s have in our tax money waste bucket.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 12, 2014 at 9:18 PM

So a solidly left company gets screwed over by cronyism. Hard to feel sorry for them… They supported Obama so they can’t really complain about cronyism because they are on the wrong side of this one.

Theworldisnotenough on March 12, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Theworldisnotenough,

Seems they were birthed by cronyism and now the old what goes around comes around deal bites them in the stock price.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 12, 2014 at 9:31 PM

A friend of mine has one. He likes it, had a Lamborghini (I think that’s what it was, not a big car fan) before it. It’s a rich boy’s toy and that’s it. It goes 200 miles max on a charge and takes six hours to recharge. Batteries estimated to last about 5 years and will cost $28K to $35K to replace. Based on his past car history he won’t have it 5 years. He said it was peppy and smooth. He was under no misconceptions about it’s utility just wanted it for fun.

Oldnuke on March 12, 2014 at 8:29 PM

And

A friend of mine bought a Volt because a) he has a ton of money and b) a sense of humor, and it’s a surprisingly fun car to drive – I needled him endlessly about it, especially since it was a case of a wealthy guy getting a tax break to buy a car most people wouldn’t even consider. That said, it’s the first time I’d ever even seen one.

On a recent visit I told him I had to test drive it, so we tooled around south Florida in his electric car and I was disappointed to like it as much as I did. I’d never buy one at its current price, but if it dipped under $25K, I’d consider it just for the pleasure of driving it. He’s got about 20K miles on it and claimed he’s never had a problem with it.

King B on March 12, 2014 at 8:31 PM

I have no doubt that on a single drive, both the Tesla (yes, Nikolai is rolling in his grave, no doubt) and the Volt are nice cars to operate. That being said, though, the mere fact that such cars exist is testament to how horrible the result is when governments intervene in markets in an attempt to pick winners.

It’s entirely possible that, had Uncle Sugar not stolen taxpayer funds to have these cars built, someone might have eventually chosen to invest in manufacturing hybrid or electric cars, just as ultra premium manufacturers such as Lamborghini find ways to offer their products to buyers and remain in business. But no matter how much money Uncle Sugar rains down on companies like Tesla, the laws of physics will never allow these vehicles to be able to compete with regular gasoline-powered ones on an energy conversion cost basis – which is supposedly the reason for government intervention in the automobile market in the first place.

Musk is a smart guy. Problem for me is, he’s become very smart in whoring himself out to government subsidies over the last decade.

Oh, and as for the dealer vs direct offer thingy: car dealers saw what happened to travel agencies once airlines began to offer tickets to consumers directly as the Internet made it easy for them to do so, and are scared sh!tless of what that will mean to their businesses.

To them I say: kiss my a$$, parasites!

Wanderlust on March 12, 2014 at 9:39 PM

Whoever thinks the GOP is the free market party needs to start paying attention to things like this.

It is also not the small government party.

Most GOP politicians only pay lip service to these principles when an election is coming up.

farsighted on March 12, 2014 at 9:41 PM

I bought a Tesla in Texas. Well, I live in Texas, financed it through a Chicago bank, bought it in California but took possession of it in Farmer’s Branch, TX (North Dallas) at a Tesla Service Center.

I placed my order online (after having driven one at a Tesla driving day at the same service center). I was called within the hour but an out of state Tesla employee who could talk financing options, and it all went swimmingly from there.

For the auto dealer associations: we remember going to the showrooms and seeing the unabashed $50K markups on Shelby Cobras when they were new. You aren’t interested in anyone but yourselves, so stop pretending. (GM had to get the Feds to divest it of dealerships as part of its bailout, so how helpful are they to dealers, again)?

Money talks. I hope the gigafactory lands in Texas, tied to some direct-sales language.

Oh, and the Model S is the best car I’ve ever driven. You should get one.

GruntDoc on March 12, 2014 at 9:42 PM

C*ck Shock Block

Glenn Jericho on March 12, 2014 at 9:47 PM

C*ck Shock Block

Glenn Jericho on March 12, 2014 at 9:49 PM

GruntDoc,

Then you for sure need to read the thread on
http://www.wattsupwiththat.com/

and understand how the battery scam works, it is a lot like Obama care.

GM / Ford ect. have to pay fines for not making enough electric cars and the credits are paid out to Tesla from most important, Califorina,,, you seem to be getting a goverment check sent to Telas and they give you chump change credit in the price while they pocket the difference.

Just one more “Greenpeace” commie Democrat scam.

Not many know and few knew before now, you need to read up on it.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 12, 2014 at 10:07 PM

Wanderlust on March 12, 2014 at 9:39 PM

As the author of one of those quoted comments, I agree with your sentiment.

King B on March 12, 2014 at 10:20 PM

Here’s the article to which APACHEWHOKNOWS refers on Watts:

Analysis: Tesla may have made over $100 million off the CARB enabled battery swap ZEV credit scheme

Keep in mind this only refers to the state of California, and there now-execrable uber-regulator CARB.

Basically, CARB is forcing its ZEV requirement (originally started in 1990 IIRC) onto the market by focusing on the battery itself, rather than the vehicle. Tesla Motors’ battery swap idea will allow it to pocket upwards of $100 million in ZEV credits, according to the author on WUWT.

Given all the inputs into battery power (coal fired electricity; battery storage energy density (or absolute lack thereof, compared to gasoline); cost of battery manufacture; cost of battery swap stations; capital tied up in battery inventory), there is absolutely no way this energy method competes with gasoline in terms of either capital outlay efficiency or pollution control.

But government regulatory whores, they gotta regulate – and screw the consequences.

Wanderlust on March 12, 2014 at 10:33 PM

Come on, Chrispie is just saving New Jerseyans from being brewed up in combusting Teslas.

Seriously, a pox on both their houses.

Steve Eggleston on March 12, 2014 at 10:34 PM

Big Government Krispy Style. No you can’t drive across the bridge. No you can’t drive a car. But you can walk across the bridge

Brock Robamney on March 13, 2014 at 5:37 AM

Whoever thinks the GOP is the free market party needs to start paying attention to things like this.
It is also not the small government party.
Most GOP politicians only pay lip service to these principles when an election is coming up.
farsighted on March 12, 2014 at 9:41 PM

Well everybody forgets the protectionism policies of W in regards to the Steel industry

Brock Robamney on March 13, 2014 at 5:41 AM

You’re not wrong AP. This is purely a payout to the auto dealers. Like so much that government does, it is nothing but a barrier to entry to protect existing sellers from competition. Its like those laws that require a license for selling flowers or hair dressing. Disgusting.

MJBrutus on March 13, 2014 at 5:48 AM

I don’t like the idea of government favoring one business model over another. Let the consumers decide.

That being said, I drove a Tesla and they are an amazing car. I’d buy one if I could afford it. It’s a wealthy person’s car that most of us will never buy anyway, so the impact on Chevy, Ford, Chrysler, etc. is minimal. Those car companies need to up their game in the electric car market. Tesla has proven an electric car can be done well.

Know It All on March 13, 2014 at 7:49 AM

“Texas is open for business”, huh?

If you really stood by that phrase, Perry, you would’ve vetoed that bill immediately. I can’t wait for 2015. Good riddance.

TMOverbeck on March 13, 2014 at 8:01 AM

This is police state stuff and cronyism.

crankyoldlady on March 12, 2014 at 8:08 PM

Government power is out of control everywhere. They control everything from what you are allowed to eat to what you can drink, to what kind of TOILET YOU CAN BUY to excrete that food and drink, to the LIGHT BULB you can use to light that bathroom to the COLORING, PAPER, and etc OF THE TOILET PAPER YOU WIPE YOUR ASS WITH!

ConstantineXI on March 12, 2014 at 8:13 PM

Keep reminding the “this is a free country!” morons of this. Maybe some day it will get through their thick skulls.

earlgrey on March 13, 2014 at 1:14 PM

I wonder if you could build that battery plant over here in PA?
Most of NJ is within an hour’s drive of PA, so you could also set up a Tesla salesroom over here, too. PA is big on heavy industry, and our PA Constitution says that the right to Keep & Bear Arms “Shall not be Questioned.” (Article 1, Sec. 17)
Just a thought…

ReggieA on March 14, 2014 at 2:30 PM