Tesla faithful exceed signatures needed on White House petition to allow direct sales

Tesla Motors has been fighting various states over its ability to sell the all-electric Model S sedan directly to consumers.

Now the Tesla faithful are asking supporters of the company to sign a White House petition to allow them to sell directly to consumers in all 50 states. The petition needed to reach 100,000 signatures by July 5; on Friday afternoon more than 110,000 had signed it. That means the petition has reached the threshold needed, and the Obama administration has to respond to it in some way.

Auto dealer associations are politically powerful, particularly when it comes to influencing state legislators. The petition proves that electric vehicle owners and advocates are increasingly flexing their own political muscle and getting more involved in policy battles.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk talked about the battle with auto dealers at the annual shareholder’s meeting earlier this month.

“The auto dealers association is definitely creating some problems for us, making it harder to get things done,” Musk said.

Dana Hull Dana Hull (234 Posts)

Dana Hull covers clean technology and energy policy for the San Jose Mercury News. She often writes about electric vehicles, the smart grid, the solar industry and California energy policy, from RPS goals to Gov. Jerry Brown's big dreams for distributed generation.