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Asm. Eustace: NJ Should Foster the Growth of Tesla

3-25-14

Tesla has been told that it will no longer be able to use its stores to sell electric cars directly to New Jersey consumers. Assemblyman Timothy Eustace told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that New Jersey should foster the growth of companies like Tesla, instead of taking away jobs, business and tax revenue.

Eustace said that someone in the Motor Vehicle Commission made this happen. “The legislature had not done anything because I had not been apprised of anything going on and I was shocked the day of the meeting to find out that Tesla was basically being thrown out of the state,” he said.

Eustace said that he was stunned. He drives an electric vehicle, not a Tesla, but he thought a new business model would be welcomed. He said that Tesla is an American company and the federal government lent it a lot of money to get the business started. He said Tesla paid it back in record time and succeeded.

“My feeling was don’t we need jobs, businesses, tax revenues? And those three things will suffer if we put Tesla out of business in New Jersey,” said Eustace.

Henry Ford did not start out in franchisees, he started out selling directly to the consumers and it took years to build the network, Eustace explained. Electric cars make up a niche market and Eustace said that he thinks New Jersey should foster the growth of companies like Tesla.

“Dealerships do not sell Teslas so how will they be hurt? What we should be expanding is the way we do business, and not necessarily stifling any new business models,” said Eustace.

Eustace said that the legislature has built in a small exception for an electronic vehicle and a company that only makes electronic vehicles.

“Not many companies make electric vehicles and they already have this infrastructure in place where they already have dealerships. I can’t imagine that they are going to contract any more than they did in the 1970s. That’s why I think these laws were tightened up years ago to make sure that manufacturers did not choke the dealers and the dealers have done very well and are right to say we need to protect our businesses up to a certain extent. To the point of killing another American business, I don’t think so. I think that we need to make room for new ideas in the marketplace,” said Eustace.

Eustace said that Gov. Chris Christie said at a town hall meeting a couple of days ago that if lawmakers came up with a solution for the Tesla problem, he would sign it. Eustace said that he is looking forward to a solution for New Jersey jobs, businesses and citizens.

When asked about the George Washington Bridge investigative committee, Eustace said, “I am concerned with my own committees by and large and it seems to me that the investigation committee is doing a good job. They are allowing Christie to do his job and doing an investigation at the same time.”