Tesla's retail store concept
Started by one Tesla supporter on June 5, support from across the electric car world piled in with signatures increasing faster and faster over the past week.
The petition required 100,000 signatures in a month--the deadline being this Friday--but as of today more than 105,000 people have signed it.
It concerns auto dealers in some states trying--and succeeding, in some cases--to stop Tesla Motors from selling vehicles direct to customers, contravening some local laws requiring automakers to sell through an independent dealer network.
Tesla argues this would hinder its high levels of personal customer service, with worries an independent dealer with other car makes on its lot may not be as bothered about selling Tesla products.
The wording is quite simple:
We petition the Obama Administration to allow Tesla Motors to sell directly to consumers in all 50 states.
States should not be allowed to prevent Tesla Motors from selling cars directly to customers. The state legislators are trying to unfairly protect automobile dealers in their states from competition. Tesla is providing competition, which is good for consumers.
The petition's popularity got a boost last week when Tesla itself wrote about its fans' efforts--and we're expecting a few thousand more signatures to appear by the time it ends on Friday.
Where the petition goes from there is less certain. Many of the laws Tesla is trying to fight--and the ones auto dealers are trying to establish--are governed at a state level.
What there's no doubt of is just how much support Tesla Motors has behind it--and as is becoming common, it's getting Tesla noticed at the highest levels.