Sierra Club Reports Nearly One-Third of US Dealerships Disinterested in Selling EVs

The 2023 Rev Up report from the Sierra Club’s poll on shopping experiences this year revealed that 66% of auto dealers in the United States have no electric vehicles to sell, and 45% claimed they would not sell any under any circumstances. According to the report, 44% of the 66% of auto dealers without any electric vehicles would like to sell them whenever possible. The ones that seek to sell electric vehicles claim that the stock constraints are the result of supply network problems and inventory problems, as well as electric vehicle manufacturers’ allotment to dealerships.

In comparison to all other areas of the country, the Western area had the lowest percentage of dealerships (27%) with an electric vehicle for sale. Yet, the same Western area sold considerably more electric vehicles as compared to other areas across the country and was responsible for 45% of all sales of electric vehicles last year, showing that the limited availability is due to high demand from customers and high turnover in sales.

The report noted that 27 states prohibit automakers such as Rivian and Tesla from selling direct to motorists, and this has an effect on sales of electric vehicles: 65% of electric vehicles were sold in states that permit direct selling.

According to the Sierra Club, if supply and inventory concerns were not an issue, additional dealers within the 13 U.S. states having zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) initiatives said they would provide electric vehicles. The researchers discovered that 61% of all EV sales in the country occurred in ZEV states last year, while the 35 states without ZEV policies sold 39% of all electric vehicles. That seems to confirm that the ZEV policy is effective.

As for vehicle brands, the participants in this study reached out to auto companies represented by 18 vehicle ownership organizations. The most EVs available were from Mercedes-Benz. From the Mercedes-Benz outlets examined, 90% had an electric vehicle on sale.

Honda and Toyota faced the worst availability of electric vehicles. Toyota held second-to-last place, with only 15% of its dealerships having an electric vehicle on sale, followed by Honda, which had 11% of its dealers in last place.

The authors of the Sierra Club advise automakers to work with suppliers to provide them with electric vehicle chargers on the ground. The report also suggested offering training to salespersons regarding charging of electric vehicles, consumer subsidies and successful sales techniques as well as publicly exhibiting electric vehicles.

The number of dealerships that are interested but are unable to access EV inventories should give startups such as Lordstown Motors Corp. (NASDAQ: RIDE) an opportunity to bridge the gap and get a stronger foothold in the market.

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