Nearly 4,000 dealers across the United States have collectively penned an open letter to President Biden, expressing their concern over the proposed emissions standards that aim to phase out internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEs). Operating under the name “EV Voice of the Customer,” these 3,882 dealers, representing all 50 states, argue that consumer readiness for electric vehicles (EVs) is not at the level the policy assumes.
In April, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new regulations that could result in EVs making up to two-thirds of the market share by 2032.
Portions of the letter read:
- “Currently, there are many excellent battery electric vehicles available for consumers to purchase. These vehicles are ideal for many people, and we believe their appeal will grow over time. The reality, however, is that electric vehicle demand today is not keeping up with the large influx of BEVs arriving at our dealerships prompted by the current regulations. BEVs are stacking up on our lots,” they wrote.
- “Last year, there was a lot of hope and hype about EVs. Early adopters formed an initial line and were ready to buy these vehicles as soon as we had them to sell. But that enthusiasm has stalled. Today, the supply of unsold BEVs is surging, as they are not selling nearly as fast as they are arriving at our dealerships—even with deep price cuts, manufacturer incentives, and generous government incentives.”
- “Mr. President, it is time to tap the brakes on the unrealistic government electric vehicle mandate. Allow time for the battery technology to advance. Allow time to make BEVs more affordable. Allow time to develop domestic sources for the minerals to make batteries. Allow time for the charging infrastructure to be built and prove reliable. And most of all, allow time for the American consumer to get comfortable with the technology and make the choice to buy an electric vehicle.”
These neighborhood dealers have observed reluctance among customers regarding EV adoption, citing issues like affordability, range anxiety, and inadequate charging infrastructure. They report instances where customers have returned their EVs, frustrated by reduced driving range under certain conditions like towing, extreme temperatures, or faster tire wear.
As the variety of electric cars increases and consumer demand appears to plateau, a price war has ensued, leading automakers to reevaluate their investments in EVs.
The transition to electric vehicles also poses challenges for dealerships themselves. For example, some Ford dealers have resisted the automaker’s demands for significant investments in EV charging stations and training.
Despite these challenges and high interest rates that are cooling the demand for EVs, sales remain strong. In the third quarter alone, domestic EV sales surpassed 300,000 units, indicating a complex market for EVs.
Download the list of supporting dealerships here.