Tesla Motors can't sell its electric cars in the home state of the Detroit Three automakers, but it's long wanted to change that.

Last October, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill prohibiting carmakers from selling vehicles directly to customers in the state.

The legislation came after fierce campaigning by Michigan's franchised auto dealers and their supporters, who want to quash Tesla's direct-sales model.

DON'T MISS: Michigan Gov Snyder Signs Anti-Tesla Bill Called 'Corrupt Politics At Its Worst' (Oct 2014)

Tesla is now lobbying to have the state's franchise rules changed, reports The Detroit News, so it can sell cars in the Great Lakes State.

The company already has a "rabid fan base" that has purchased cars in other states and had them drop-shipped to Michigan, Tesla vice president of business development Diarmuid O'Connell told reporters at an industry meeting in the state Tuesday.

The Tesla Stores closest to Michigan are in Chicago, and in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio.

Tesla Store Los Angeles [photo: Misha Bruk / MBH Architects]

Tesla Store Los Angeles [photo: Misha Bruk / MBH Architects]

Tesla also isn't allowed to operate service centers in Michigan, either, although it does have two Supercharger DC fast-charging locations in the state.

The Silicon Valley carmaker was blocked from selling cars directly to customers in Michigan by small changes to the language in the state franchise law last fall.

Legislators removed any wording that might have implied the legality of a manufacturer-owned dealership.

ALSO SEE: FTC Calls Michigan's Tesla Ban 'Protectionism' For Dealers

That included things like changing the phrase "the manufacturer's new motor vehicle dealers," to "franchised dealers."

The revised law also removed the word "its" from a reference to a manufacturer's franchised dealers.

Changes were made and the bill passed quickly and quietly, with virtually no time allowed for public comment.

Tesla Store opening in Westfield Mall, London, Oct 2013

Tesla Store opening in Westfield Mall, London, Oct 2013

Tesla officials are meeting with stakeholders, including representative from dealers and other carmakers, as well as legislators and officials from Gov. Snyder's office, the company said.

The company might agree to a sales cap, under which it would be allowed to open no fewer than five and no more than 10 retail stores.

MORE: Tesla Owners Take Protest To Michigan; Dealer-Backed State Ban Targeted

Even without direct sales in the state, previous Polk registration data showed about 270 Teslas on Michigan roads; the carmaker thinks the actual number is now closer to 300.

Two years ago, General Motors convened a board-level task force two years ago to assess just how much of a threat Tesla Motors posed over the long term.

How many of those 300 electric luxury cars, we wonder, might be found at the extensive vehicle proving grounds operated by Chrysler, Ford, and GM?


Follow GreenCarReports on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.