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New Jersey May Lift Ban On Tesla Sales

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NEW YORK, NY - MAY 21: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie attends a news briefing during the Republican Governors Association's quarterly meeting on May 21, 2014 in New York City. Appearing with Christie was South Carolina Gov. Nikki R. Haley, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. As Christie continues to move towards a potential 2016 presidential campaign, the ongoing bridge scandal and a New Jersey budget deficit threaten to undermine any campaign if he were to join the race. | Spencer Platt via Getty Images

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Assembly unanimously approved a bill that would allow zero-emission carmakers to sell directly to consumers in that state.

The bill backed by environmental and business advocates would allow Tesla to resume sales in New Jersey.

It was approved Monday, and must now go before the state Senate, where its fate is unknown.

The state Motor Vehicle Commissioner earlier this year approved regulations that require new-car dealers to have franchise agreements, effectively banning Tesla's business model.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk blasted Gov. Chris Christie, accusing him of making a "backroom deal" with the state's auto dealers.

Pressure has begun to build, however, for a reformatting of those regulations.

This week, environmental and business advocates rallied in front of the Statehouse to call on legislators to pass the bill, saying it would create jobs.

To counter fears that the entry of Tesla and direct-sale automakers into the market, the state's Assembly passed a measure that would give them a better deal in their arrangements with manufacturers.

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