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Tesla Motors White House petition passes 100K signatures — a small win for electric cars?

A White House petition to make it legal for Tesla Motors to sell its revolutionary cars directly to consumers surpassed its goal of 100,000 signatures today — meaning it’ll get an official response from the Obama administration.

Many people may not know it, but Tesla is barred from selling its vehicles in many states, which require businesses to obtain a “dealership license” before being able to sell cars en mass to people. To clarify, a dealership is where you have over a hundred cars sitting on a lot that a handful of people will then try to get you to purchase. But Tesla doesn’t work like that, opting instead to sell cars made to order the same way you’d buy a Macbook Pro from Apple.

Local auto dealership groups have lobbied against Tesla in their states, making it difficult for Tesla to operate. For instance, with the current restrictions, you can’t actually buy a Model S from the Tesla store in Austin, Tex. Instead, you have to go online and purchase it. And the car itself has to be shipped in (or driven) from California.


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