An online petition urging the White House to allow Tesla Motors to sell their fleet of electric vehicles directly to the public has amassed more than 100,000 signatures. Having passed the 100,000 signature threshold within 30 days of creation (just narrowly as it was launched on June 5) means the White House must now issue an official response.
The petition, launched on June 5, was created by a Tesla fan by the name of Ken. He (or she?) doesn’t believe states should be able to prevent automotive companies from selling vehicles directly to consumers. The individual claims to not work for the electric car company but does own stock in it.
It’s all part of a larger battle between Tesla and specific states that are trying to protect local auto retailers by blocking direct vehicle sales. Truth be told, however, this isn’t the first time that high-end technology products have been in a similar sticky situation.
Back in the 1980s, computer stores created a thriving business by marking up PCs by a significant margin. Consumers at the time didn’t know much about computers which meant high profit margins for dealers. This practice ultimately fizzled out as the ‘90s rolled around when mail order upstarts like Dell Computer and Gateway 2000 took root.
The petition is part of the White House’s We the People platform that launched in October 2011. Originally the platform required a petition amass just 25,000 signatures to initiate a response but that figure was bumped to 100,000 not too long ago.