A significant majority of US car dealers are raising concerns about the federal government's rapid push toward electric vehicles (EVs), citing challenges in adapting to an evolving automotive landscape.
In a survey conducted by Automotive News, encompassing 208 dealers and dealership managers, 83% expressed the belief that the government's strategy is hastening their transition to EVs.
Car dealerships have traditionally been viewed as potential obstacles to EV adoption, given their reliance on vehicle servicing, repairs, and maintenance – aspects that are less prevalent with EVs due to their fewer moving parts and the absence of oil changes.
The survey revealed that 55% of the dealers believed EVs were not generating sufficient customer interest or sales at their establishments, citing affordability concerns and limited inventory. Ironically, some 4,000 car dealerships conveyed to the White House last year that they had an excess of EV inventory, adding a layer of complexity to the issue.
Michael Lucki, the general manager of a New York-based dealership, expressed the sentiment that consumer demand for EVs is not yet substantial, stating, “Electric vehicles are exciting. They're definitely overall a good impact for our customers and for the environment, but it's moving too fast. It should be driven by consumer demand, and consumer demand isn't there yet.”
On a practical note, only 35% of dealers believed that the new point-of-sale tax credit for EVs would positively impact their business, with the majority expressing uncertainty, foreseeing negative consequences, or anticipating no impact. The survey highlights the ongoing challenges and differing perspectives within the automotive industry as it grapples with the accelerating shift towards electric mobility.